Tulsa march focuses on ending abortion
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Sunday, January 23, 2011
1/23/11 at 5:14 AM
Local residents took to the streets of downtown Tulsa on Saturday to demonstrate their pro-life beliefs exactly 38 years after the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial abortion decision.
"Every life is sacred," said Kelly Cassidy of Skiatook. "That's why we're here."
The march began outside Holy Family Cathedral, 122 W. Eighth St., where a "Mass for Life" was led by Bishop Edward J. Slattery.
Slattery told those assembled that a "dark cloud" has enveloped the nation since the Roe v. Wade case was decided in 1973. He said an unborn child's right to life comes before anyone's freedom of choice.
Slattery vowed that the march will occur every year until this "terrible evil" has been erased in the United States.
The March for Life in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to take place on Monday - two days after the actual anniversary - while other events like the one Saturday in Tulsa are taking place nationwide throughout the weekend.
Bob Roe, 65, of Broken Arrow participated in Saturday's event in Tulsa and said it wasn't a protest march.
"It's an awareness march," he said.
The Rev. Rick Tabisz, pastor of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Glenpool, said it was an "incredibly, loving, peaceful and courteous" group that quietly marched about six blocks before ending up at the Chapman Centennial Green near Sixth Street and Boston Avenue, where a rally was subsequently held.
Tabisz said he thinks it's possible that the law will someday change.
He said "people are already waking up" to the ramifications of abortion.
Marcher Peggy Cogburn, 48, of Claremore said "we want people to realize that life begins at conception."
Cogburn said the results of November's elections strengthened her belief that the nation's abortion laws will change.
"We have hope," Cogburn said."There's work to do yet, though."
Clayton Whitson, 34, said it sometimes takes a long time for changes in the law to take place; but said he is "very optimistic" that it will happen on the subject of abortion.
While this is just the second year for the Tulsa event, the national March for Life in Washington dates all the way back to Jan. 22, 1974 - the first anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.
The first March for Life in Washington drew an estimated 20,000 supporters in attendance on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Last year's event attracted an estimated 250,000 people.
Cassidy, who attends services at St. Therese Catholic Church in Collinsville, said there are some members of the church who will be attending the event in the nation's capital.
She said she was part of a group of about 10 from the church who appeared at the Tulsa event.
"It's peaceful, it's prayerful and it sets a good example for teens," she said.
Cassidy said such demonstrations "speak for people who can't speak for themselves."
Maria Whitson, 29, said she hopes the gathering will help point out that there are other options besides abortion - especially adoption - for those who find themselves confronted by an unexpected pregnancy.
Original Print Headline: Life versus choice
David Harper 581-8359
Supporter carry signs as they participate in an anti-abortion rally downtown Saturday, sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
A woman with tape over her mouth with the word "Life" written across it marches in an anti-abortion rally in downtown Tulsa on Saturday. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
Supporters proceed north along Boston Avenue in an anti-abortion rally in downtown Tulsa on Saturday. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
The anti-abortion march and rally begins outside Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa on Saturday, hosted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World