Pro-life in movement
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1/23/13 at 7:48 AM
American society is gradually moving toward a pro-life position, Alveda King told some 3,000 people who marched through downtown Tulsa on Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
"Can you feel the hope and promise in the atmosphere?" asked King, the niece of slain civil-rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Addressing Tulsa's fourth annual March for Life, King said pro-life pregnancy-care centers now vastly outnumber abortion clinics in the United States.
"We're winning. We now outnumber the enemy," she said, urging her listeners to be more diligent in 2013 and not to be "weary of well-doing."
King said that as a young woman, she went to Planned Parenthood and had an abortion, a decision she did not discuss with her family or spiritual leaders.
"For a few years, I was tricked. It was all lies," she said.
Later, pregnant again, she told her grandfather, Martin Luther King Sr., that she was going to get an abortion.
"Baby, we don't do that in this family," he told her. "That's a little person that God made."
That "little person" is now an attorney, she said.
Her famous uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., also opposed abortion, she said.
"In 1983, I became born-again" and repented of having an abortion, she said.
She then became an outspoken national advocate of the pro-life position.
King spoke at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green, a park at Sixth and Main streets, the end-point of a march that assembled in front of Holy Family Cathedral, at Eighth Street and Boulder Avenue.
There, Bishop Edward J. Slattery addressed the crowd from the cathedral steps.
He praised President Barack Obama for his Monday inaugural speech in which he affirmed that all people are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
But those rights - and the right to life - belong to all people, including the unborn, Slattery said.
"Mr. Obama, our nation is wading through the blood of 55 million dead babies," he said.
"We know the truth, and the truth is that this is not health care. ... This is murder."
"We know that abortion kills life," he continued. "... We will not go away, and we will not be silenced. We will work and pray for an end of abortion."
About 800 people attended a "Mass for the sanctity of life" celebrated by Slattery in Holy Family Cathedral just before the march Tuesday evening.
Signs dotted the crowd that marched through the crisp, moonlit night. Some of them read: "Tulsa loves life," "We vote pro-life" and "Abortion stops a beating heart."
Jose Quiroz, a lifelong Tulsa resident, said he attended the march to support the pro-life movement.
"I believe the pro-choice movement is wrong, a course toward death of not just babies but also of our Christian culture," he said.
Carol Oxford said she attended because "we're pro-life and we wanted to support our view on this historic day."
Clarence Boyd, dean of spiritual formation at Oral Roberts University, said the march and the pro-life movement are needed "to instill in the hearts and minds of this generation the sanctity of life."
Boyd said the underlying social problem is the breakdown of the family and absentee fathers, which was rare just two generations ago.
Original Print Headline: Pro-life in movement
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
Pro-life supporters march near Eighth Street and Boulder Avenue during the annual March For Life event on Tuesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
Alveda King, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, speaks Tuesday during the annual March for Life at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green in downtown Tulsa. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
Pro-life supporters carrying signs march near Ninth Street and Boulder Avenue during the annual March For Life event Tuesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World