Despite the chilly weather and overcast skies, more than 3,000 pro-life advocates gathered in Salem for the first post-Roe March for Life in Oregon on Saturday, January 28.
This year’s March featured Representative Tracy Cramer as emcee. Speakers included Archbishop Alexander Sample, Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) President Melody Durrett, Cindy Brunk of Silent No More, Marion County Commissioner Danielle Bethell and Darren Williamson of the NW School of Discipleship.
The rally mourned the lives lost to abortion, opening with 64 tolls of the bell — one for every million lives lost to abortion in the United States since Roe v Wade. Throughout the program, speakers remembered the lives lost, celebrated the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe and encouraged advocates to keep pressing forward in the fight to change Oregon’s law and culture. Attendees left refreshed and energized, ready to start or keep speaking up for the vulnerable.
After singing “God Bless America,” attendees marched around the Capitol, led by students from Chesterton Academy and other participants in the March for Life youth challenge.
At the rally, ORTL announced the winners of the youth challenge, a competition to encourage young people to attend the March. Chesterton Academy received first place, winning a $1,000 donation to Obria Medical Clinics in Lebanon. St. Joseph Trail Life and American Heritage Girls received second place, earning a $500 donation to St. Germaine Pregnancy Center in Salem. In third place, the Southwest Youth Group garnered a $250 donation to Hope Pregnancy Clinic in Salem. Each of these groups also won one full-ride scholarship to Launch, ORTL’s student leadership retreat.
“Marching for the first time in a post-Roe America was a dream come true for so many of the advocates here today,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “What a different energy in the crowd! And we will keep that up, marching until abortion is unthinkable in Oregon, because every woman in a crisis pregnancy will feel so supported and empowered with all the resources she needs.”