Sunday, January 25, 2009
Texas Rally for Life, 2009
It was a very cold and windy day in Austin yesterday. A cold font blew in, making coats, gloves, and jackets a must this year.
There is no official count for the number of participants yet, but over 2,000 marched last year, and the crowd was larger this time in spite of the cold, and quite vocal. As we marched down the streets, chanting, our voices reverberated through downtown Austin, echoing off of the buildings as we went. I took the picture above as we approached the Capitol. That is only part of the crowd which you see here. There were a many more people behind me.
The Austin police did a very good job of protecting the safety of those on both sides.
Governor Perry spoke a this year's rally, promising us that he would continue to support pro-life legislation, regardless of what happens in Washington.
Adoption dominated the discourse at this year's rally. Most of the speakers were women who had placed a child for adoption, or couples who were adoptive parents themselves. The parents testified to the beauty and love that their adopted sons and daughters brought to their families. The birthmothers spoke of how difficult it was too choose adoption. But, the knowledge that they provided their children with loving homes helped them find the strength to face that difficulty. They spoke in order to counter the emphasis our culture places on the "giving up" of a child over the loving acceptance of the child by her new parents.
There were counter protestors, of course, making sure they confronted us "anti-choice zealots". In spite of their attempts to be more organized this year and to "keep the anti-choice message from being heard", it looked like there were only about two or three dozen of them. Chanting things like "Jesus died for your sins, not for mine", accusing us of being "patriarchal" and beating drums did little to counter our message. One counter protestor accused a friend of mine of not believing in dinosaurs and told her she can't say anything about abortion until she has been pregnant. (Interestingly, my friend is a science teacher and happens to be visibly pregnant right now). Some said things not fit to print. I regret to say that their display said more about their bigoted ideas about pro-lifers than it did about us. At least they were a touch more civilized than the counter-protestors in San Francisco.
Considering Austin is one of the most "blue" regions of the state of Texas, I'm surprised that was the best they could do.
Ironically, one of the groups organizing the counter-protests calls itself "Central Texas Anti-Racist Action". I wonder if anyone has ever told them about Margaret Sanger's desire to use abortion as a tool of racial purification?
After the rally was over, many of us found ourselves rushing to the nearest Starbucks (or other hot beverage provider) to warm up our (slightly numb) fingers, toes, and noses. Though our extremities were cold, our hearts were certainly fired up to continue the fight for Life. All told, it was a very good day.
I would also like to add a great big "Hello" to the 30,000 plus marchers who participated in the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, CA yesterday. This is only their fifth year doing this, and the sheer size of the event is astounding!
We all marched together at the same time (We at 1 p.m. Central Time, they at 11 a.m. Pacific). Support for Life in this country not only crosses party lines, religious lines, and ethnic lines; it also crosses time zones!
Here is a site with photographs of the 2006 Walk..