On this Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, when we recall the difficulties the civil rights movement faced, it is appropriate to note that thousands of people marched in Chicago on Sunday for the most basic of all human and civil rights: The right to life itself.
The first right enumerated in the Declaration of Independence spurred a couple thousands people to turn out in a chilly Sunday afternoon in Chicago for the March for Life Chicago, an activity that is as honored as the civil rights marches conducted during this nation's fight for civil rights for all of its citizens.
The turnout actually exceeded the organizer's expectations:
March For Life Chicago: Pro-Life Crowds Double Expectation
Religious Leaders, Congressmen, Former Abortion Worker, and Grateful Mom Among Speakers
(January 20, 2014 – Chicago) Approximately 2,000 people gathered in Chicago’s Loop on Sunday, January 19, to proclaim the sanctity of human life and call for the overturn of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The 9th annual March for Life Chicago drew pro-life citizens of all ages to participate in the rallies at Federal Plaza and the James R. Thompson Center and hear from Francis Cardinal George, Congressmen Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), and others.
George, Archbishop of Chicago, encouraged the crowd to continue standing up for the sanctity of life, saying that change is possible, even after a long struggle, as exhibited by the U.S. civil rights movement.
Attendees were treated to a rare show of bi-partisan unity by U.S. House of Representative Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Dan Lipinski. “It is not just being against abortion; it is about embracing life,” remarked Lipinski, who noted that, “The pro-life movement continues to build, continues to grow.”
Poignant personal reflections were shared by former Planned Parenthood worker Linda Couri and Brittaney Campbell, whose unexpected pregnancy, combined with the loss of a job and on the verge of homelessness, was seeking an abortion. “I felt that I was in way over my head. I was entirely on my own,” Campbell told the crowd, “I decided that my only option was to have an abortion.” She recalled how she happened upon Aid for Women, while looking for an abortion clinic. Aid for Women, a Chicago pregnancy counseling center, provided Campbell financial and emotional support. “I am thankful for my twins, Olivia and Amelia, and thankful that they're not another statistic that represents a life lost to abortion,” Campbell shared.
The Federal Plaza line up, emceed by WLS-AM’s Dan Proft, included Pastor Ceasar LaFlore of New Community Church and Fr. Marco Mercado from Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Students for Life of Illinois’ Anna Slater also helped warm up the crowd for the march to the Thompson Center.
Patrick McCaskey of the Chicago Bears Board of Directors, spoke during the second rally, which was hosted by Relevant Radio’s Sheila Liaugminas. Jill Stanek, a nurse whose experience with hospital abortions converted her into an outspoken life advocate, also had time on the podium.
"The 2014 March For Life Chicago was a great success,” said Mary Hallan-FioRito, spokesperson for the March For Life Chicago planning committee. “The pro-life movement has been objecting to legal abortion for 41 years. As Congressman Lipinski said, science is with us and truth is with us. We hope and pray that one day soon the law will be with us too, and recognize abortion for what it is – the intentional killing of a defenseless child.”
For more about March For Life Chicago visit www.MarchForLifeChicago.com.
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