Saturday night the pro-life movement lost a wonderful person. Kortney Blythe Gordon (Student’s for Life’s Field Director) and her 21 week old unborn child were killed in a head on collision traveling home from a Students for Life conference.
One person in the vehicle that hit them died, another Students for Life leader Jon Scharfenberger is in critical condition, and two students have been severely wounded. Not only have we lost a wonderful person, but the unborn have lost a true hero who selflessly dedicated her life to advocating for the lives of the unborn.
|Kortney’s Baby Sophy|
I remember the very first time I went sidewalk counseling; I was practically a little girl standing there next to Kortney at one of the busiest abortion clinics in Los Angeles on a Saturday morning at about 6:30 a.m. With the little training of sidewalk counseling I had received the day before during Survivors Pro Life Training Camp, I remember looking up at her and saying, “I don’t know if I can do this. I have to talk to this woman who is about to have her baby killed, and you want me to try and stop her?” I realized that no bit of training could prepare me for such a task and that I wanted Kortney to do it because she had done it before. Kortney reminded me that what we were doing was so much bigger than us and that it’s “God’s work” and that “it’s our duty to help others”.
I was trembling, had knots in my stomach at the thought of what was happening inside the building, I was on the verge of tears, and begging Kortney to help me because I thought I couldn’t do it. I even asked her, “Who’s going to listen to a little girl like me?” There I was saying I was not ready, and a woman walked up who needed help. Kortney grabbed me by the arm and with a huge smile on her face and said “come on, we’ll do it together” . . .
Kortney lead the conversation and kept pulling me along to help. I showed the woman how far along she was in her pregnancy and shared with her that her baby already had little fingers, toes, and a beating heart. Kortney talked with the woman asking her what she needed and the lady shared much information and hurt that she was going through. Last I said, “I know I can’t keep your baby, even though I wish I could; I’m too young. But I can find you someone who will keep him for you!” The lady giggled, thanked us, and went inside. Minutes later the woman came out and asked Kortney for help cause she wanted to give her baby life! The woman was then taken to a pregnancy resource center which assisted her through her pregnancy.
Right away Kortney told me I did a good job and reminded me to just keep talking to those women in need because God put us there to help them. I remember praying to the Holy Spirit to place the words in me because I had no idea what to say even with all the knowledge about fetal development and abortion risks. From that day on, every time I sidewalk counsel, I recall Kortney’s words telling me “it’s God’s work” and that I needed to love each and every women I encounter because “it’s our duty”.
Kortney and I have stayed in contact over the years, even after she moved to the east coast to work for Students for Life. I can tell you that she has been missed in so many ways. From her courage, to her abundance of joy. We’ve worked on different projects together as I later took a leadership position with Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust at the same time she left. I’ve taught some of the same materials she taught me so many years ago, and have even used many of the materials she developed. Just a few weeks ago she was encouraging me to drop everything and move to the East Coast to work with her at Students for Life.
I pray that Kortney’s story of unconditional love and courage continue to inspire many. Every day since I’ve known Kortney, she continued to dedicate her life to saving babies and ending abortion. She reached out to thousands across the world to tell them about abortion, she helped hundreds of women through their pregnancies, she was arrested when she was unlawfully told she couldn’t stand somewhere to defend life, and NEVER did she stop until the day she departed this life. She died in service to God and out of love for the unborn as she travelled home from a Students for Life conference.