January 22 marked the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States legalizing abortion through their Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. Since then, 60 million lives have been ended by legal abortion.
On January 14, close to 2,000 Oregonians attended Oregon Right to Life’s annual Roe v. Wade Memorial and March in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. The weather could not have been better for an outdoor event in January.
The most noticeable aspect of the event was how many youths were in attendance. The crowd was packed with young adults. A new band, composed largely of members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in their twenties and thirties, kicked off the event.
Archbishop Alexander Sample gave the first address. “We must continue to stand up and defend the dignity of life in our culture of death. And, we are winning. We’re winning with the younger generation,” he encouraged. Exemplifying this was Nichole Bentz, Students for Life of America’s NW regional coordinator, who spoke about the 19 active student groups working on campuses in Oregon.
ORTL president Harmony Daws, issued a challenge to the crowd for handling opposition in 2018, saying, “Think about how the conversation in America, in Oregon, would change if each of us assumed the best of the person who disagrees with us. Together, let’s think about and interact with people on the other side of this issues as if they are potential future allies, not enemies.”
After the memorial, the crowd sang “America the Beautiful” with the band, then participated in the Oregon March for Life through downtown streets.
Pro-lifers across the state also participated in rallies in Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Medford, Pendleton, Roseburg, Salem, and Vancouver, Washington.