Leading up to the March for Life in Washington, tens of thousands of people have taken part in statewide pro-life events — with Marches for Life and Walks for Life drawing thousands in Washington and the Carolinas.
As rain fell in Olympia, the state capital of Washington, people let out cries of “Life, Life,” at an event on the steps of the capitol building that police said drew as many as 9,000 or more with just 15 pro-abortion counterprotesters participating.
The 33rd annual Washington State March for Life has pro-life people carrying signs with a variety of pro-life messages, roses, rosary beads and men and women of all ages participated.
Jack Bleile, a 57-year-old deacon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Issaquah, wore a “Choose Life” T-shirt and told The Olympian, “We’re here just to show unity … we want life.”
Noreen McEntee Hobson, state president for March for Life, told the crowd that abortion is the “civil rights movement of our time” and promised that pro-life advocates would ultimately “end this.”
“We’re not going to go to a pre-Roe v. Wade world tomorrow, but what we can do is start taking it back,” she said.
State legislators from both the Republican and Democratic parties talked to the crowd, including Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane who said he would be introducing a bill to allow for parental notification so parents can help their daughters make better decisions than abortions.
“As a legislator, I’ve always held that if we get the life issue wrong, we get every other issue wrong,” Shea said at the rally. “Let this generation be the generation that stops abortion in Washington state.”
Sen. Val Stevens of Arlington announced a measure to end taxpayer funding of abortions in Washington, saying, “Your taxes should not have to pay for abortions,” according to the newspaper.
Rep. John Ahern also announced a new bill that would define the beginning of human life at conception.
Meanwhile, about 2,000 pro-life advocates marched from the University of South Carolina to the State House for the 37th annual Stand Up for Life March and Rally. The event has been held each year since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is considering a 2012 presidential bid, was the keynote speaker.
And in North Carolina, approximately 1,500 pro-lifers from across the state gathered in Raleigh for the annual Rally and March for Life.
Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life, talk about the main legislative agenda for the pro-life group.
“When our top priority, Abortion–Woman’s Right to Know, becomes law it will save many thousands of unborn children from abortion every year in North Carolina,” said Holt. “The unborn children and their mothers cannot afford to wait any longer for our state to pass such a law. The stage was set for its passage on November 2 and the time is now when the legislature convenes on January 26.”
Immediately following the Rally, the March for Life commenced for an eight block march around the State Capitol, according to NRL News.
In Washington, the event saw the greatest increase in attendance in the 34 years of the March here as nearly 9,000 people came to Olympia to insist that this state, whose legalization of abortion predates the Roe V. Wade decision, take notice that more and more Washington citizens don’t want the status quo of legalized abortion and its effect on women.
Archbishop of Seattle, Peter Sartain, who attended the March, preached a sermon at a mass before the demonstration and said, “What is frequently referred to as ‘a matter of choice’ is a matter of life and death. It’s a matter of right and wrong. It’s a matter of accepting our destiny and the destiny of every human person as coming from the very hands of God and leading (back) to the very hands of God.”
Proceedings were carried live on Sacred Heart Radio, AM1050 in Seattle and AM970 in Spokane.