By Scott Tibbs, January 23, 2006
January 22, 2006 was the 33rd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that threw out laws against abortion in all 50 states. For many years, Monroe County Right to Life and IU Students for Life co-sponsored the Rally for Life on the lawn of the Monroe County Courthouse to sadly remember this decision. The tradition continued this year, with 100 people gathering at the Monroe County Courthouse on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Pro-life activists gathered on the courthouse square and walked down Walnut Street to Second Street, over to College Avenue and back up to the courthouse. The walk route was designed to include the Planned Parenthood facility, where abortions are performed every Thursday in Bloomington. Pro-life activists then gathered on the steps of the courthouse to silently protest abortion with pro-life signs.
Father Keller began the rally by asking for God's blessing on the event. He prayed for an end to abortion and for a culture that respects life. Tina Tuley-Lampke, executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center, updated the crowd on what the CPC is doing and how we can help. After that, State Representative Peggy Welch encouraged the crowd with a message from Ephesians 6:10-20. She encouraged everyone to put on the whole armor of God in order to fight against abortion.
After the speakers, rally participants walked down Walnut Street to Second Street, and then back up College Avenue. This was designed to include Planned Parenthood (the local abortion clinic) in the route. After the walk, many people stayed around to protest abortion on the courthouse lawn.
The rally was not without reaction. There were many people who gave a thumbs-up or a light honk of support, including one car that slowed down enough so walkers could hear everyone in the car applauding. Not every reaction was positive, as abortion supporters screamed profanities or made obscene gestures. One abortion supporter drove by holding a sign opposing the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and another put a pro-choice sign in her front driver's side window. I wonder how she could make a turn with that blocking her visibility.
As I said in my report on last year's rally, I wonder what supporters of legalized abortion hoped to accomplish by making obscene gestures and screaming profanities. Do they think the people braving the cold will suddenly realize the importance of protecting "a woman's right to choose" if they hear someone screech "f*** you"? I also think such things are highly inappropriate at a rally where there were several small children in attendance. I wonder if the Herald-Times will notice this incivility?
I would rather get a strong negative reaction, though, than get no reaction at all. Abortion is a grievous sin. Murder is always sinful, but murder of babies is especially egregious. I perceive that if people are angry by a pro-life demonstration, it is because their hearts are being convicted for this sin. This is a good thing because it may change hearts and minds and possibly redeem souls in need of the grace of Jesus Christ.