More than 70 people braved sub-freezing temperatures to attend the closing event of the 40 Days for Life vigil outside the Anchorage Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
Mary Kemper, who helped coordinate this year’s campaign spoke to the gathering of pro-life advocates earlier this month.
“Tonight, we gather to give thanks to our loving God for his gift of life, which we are bound together through His love to protect,” she said on Nov. 6. “We also gather to pray for his forgiveness for the sin that is abortion, for the ways in which we have failed to protect the most vulnerable among us. And finally, we gather to ask his protection, grace, and strength to continue prolife work in whatever ways God calls each of us.”
Local high school pro-life advocate Karolina Rzeszut, also addressed the crowd that evening, noting that the battle to protect pre-born babies in Alaska is difficult, and even stressful at times.
“It’s hard to be pro-life, we are fighting a war against our loved ones: friends, family members, and society itself!” the high school senior said. “It can be difficult to be brave when you know that you will be hated and harmed for your stance in this battle. But you are not alone. We have Christ on our side, and we are destined to win.”
“A common argument from the pro-abortion side is that we are not thinking about the people involved, however, the very opposite is true.”
Rzeszut observed that pro-lifers have science on their side.
“Biology will aid us in our battles, as will statistics, psychology, and so much more,” she said. “We can use the biological evidence of when a heartbeat starts to help prove the life of these children. We can name and show statistics to educate on the detrimental effects of abortion on women and families. You can use psychology to show how abortion hurts the people involved and increases the risk of depression. When you fight these battles for the unborn, remember that science will support your argument wholeheartedly.”
Ultimately, pro-lifers must be motivated by love, she added.
“A common argument from the pro-abortion side is that we are not thinking about the people involved, however, the very opposite is true,” Rzeszut said. “When we, as advocates for the unborn, argue, our job is to show just how much love we feel for these individuals. We need to let them know that we hold deep compassion for them. Often when we stand up against abortion, we are told that we don’t support women’s rights. However, we support women more than one ever can. In fighting for the lives of the unborn, we show these women how important the role of a female is to our world. We save them from the heartbreak of abortion. We are the true advocates for human rights!”
Rzeszut urged her fellow pro-life advocates to remain resolute.
“This path that you travel will be unknown, scarred with rocks and crevices,” she said. “But do not despair.”
She urged her fellow youth to boldly stand for life at school and among their peers.
“When someone says that abortion is right, we can spread our pro-life message to our peers with kindness,” Rzeszut said. “Continue on this path, whether that be little steps, such as a post on Instagram or Facebook, going to a March for Life, or praying together. I urge you all to take what you have learned in these 40 days and share it. To change the message and create a culture that values life, we must carry on, and we must be the voice for the voiceless.”
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Eight-year pro-life sidewalk counselor Wendy Perkins then address the crowd, urging them to draw people into the pro-life cause through love, just as Christ drew his followers.
“Love conquers all, and nothing in this world can stand against it,” she said. “I have been in many prolife ministries all of my life, including serving on the board for Alaska Right to Life and bringing the Genocide Awareness Project to Alaska. 40 Days for Life, with sidewalk counseling, is by far the most effective prolife ministry I have participated in. Stay strong – the Lord is with you and his angel armies outnumber the enemy’s army big time!”
Kemper closed the vigil by urging the crowd to continue the pro-life movement through “prayer, fasting, public witness, sidewalk counseling, political action, pregnancy center support, and the many, many other prolife things you all do.”