By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A gathering of hundreds of Pro-life advocates assembled on the steps of the Statehouse last Thursday.
Group from around the state came for Pro-Life Legislative day, a day when they hoped to once agin remind members of state government that their cause was to save lives by stopping abortion.
This was not a rally of one group but on many in support of life, from tea-partiers to the Foundation for Moral Law, they came to give voice to their cause.
Speaker at the event read like a whos who of state leadership.
Lt Governor Kay Ivey was one of those who came with a message.
“In 1982, President Ronald Reagan said, “‘Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is. And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,”’ said Ivey,
Those are strong words and should continue to serve as a rallying call for the cause we all espouse of preserving human life.
I stand with you today to acknowledge your tireless efforts on behalf of those who have a heartbeat but not yet a voice. I encourage you to continue the good fight to protect whom Pope John Paul II called “the most defenseless” in our society. Your diligent work is worthy.
Find out where they stand on pro-life legislation, and let them know you want them to support pro-life amendments, and pro-life bills.”
Few things in American life have divide our country more than the battle over than the issue of “Pro-choice verse Pro-life,” at this gathering there were no divisions only purpose. They came to talk to Legislators, to find out where they stood on pro-life legislation, and let them know they wanted them to support pro-life amendments, and pro-life bills, during the 2012 Legislative Session.
Jacquie Stalnaker of Birmingham told a gut wrenching tale of being forced at gun point to undergo an unwanted abortion by a man she thought love her. As she detailed the events of 25 years ago, off stage Republican Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle could be seen openly weeping.
Henry was comforted by fellow legislator Senator Phil Williams of Gadsden.
Henry later at the event told why his emotions had overflowed.
“I murdered my first child,” the freshman legislator said to the sympathetic group. Most wept with Henry as he shared is story.
“In ’91 I was in a similar situation where I had a girlfriend who was with child and I made a decision that I will regret — that we went and I murdered my child, my first child. I’ve never said this publicly,” said Henry.
Later many commented on his bravery to share such a painful tragedy. Most did not now that when Henry ran for office from Decatur his rival for the seat in the Legislature threatened to use the abortion against him. Henry did not back down saying he was more than willing to talk about his decades long battle and his Lords forgiveness for his mistake.
At the rally, Sen. Phil Williams said, I intend to do the most I can for as long can to save as many as I can.”
He also said if the Legislature did not get all the bills passed that represented Pro-life legislation this session then he would make sure the fight continued in the next one. “Lives are to valuable and we will continue the fight,” he said.
Latter Williams said he was very moved by the speech given by Jacquie Stalnaker. But he said he was especially moved by the words of Ed Henry, who he called, “My friend.”
Henry latter issued a statement saying the abortion occurred shortly before he turned 20 in 1991 and that it was before he married. He also said in his statement,
“Sharing my story was not meant to draw attention to myself, but if hearing it can help one couple or one woman reconsider having an abortion and taking innocent life, then some good may finally come from a tragic event in my past.”
One of the groups on hand was Personhood Alabama who Ben Dupre’ said Director of Personhood Alabama said of the event, “Alabama Pro-Life Legislative Day saw a strong showing of support for pro-life legislation in Alabama and especially for legal Personhood for all, no matter how small. Whether born or unborn, all Alabamians deserve to enjoy the God-given right to life, and it is past time for our laws to recognize that. To help show our state legislators the precious value of life.”
Personhood Alabama also distributed DVDs of the pro-life “180 Movie” to every state senator and representative. Dupre’ said, “We hope this movie encourages those in the Legislature already fighting for life, and for those who defend abortion–well, we hope they do a ‘180’!”
Cheryl Ciamarra, who emceed the rally said she was very pleased with the event and that the work of these groups will continue.