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Rally for Life draws supporters, opponents to downtown San Antonio
State Sen. Donna Campbell addresses the Rally For Life Jan. 26 in Milam Park in downtown San Antonio. GREGORY RIPPS/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
SAN ANTONIO -- An estimated 250 people publicly proclaimed their commitment to the ongoing campaign against liberalized abortion laws in America during a rally Jan. 26 in downtown San Antonio.
The rally, sponsored by the San Antonio Right to Life Foundation, mirrored a series of events across the country throughout the previous week, which included a massive rally in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22. The Washington rally marked the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that overturned most state laws prohibiting or regulating abortion.
The local rally’s master of ceremonies, Al Notzon, said he had attended another huge march and rally in front of the state capitol Jan. 25 and was impressed by the large percentage of young people in attendance. Many of them carried signs that read, “My generation will end abortion.”
“It doesn’t matter what generation you’re in, we’ve got to get to work,” said Notzon, probably best known for his longtime active leadership in the Alamo Area Council of Governments. He accused the “abortion industry” of being the true promulgators of the “war on women.”
“It must end, and it must end now,” he said.
Introducing the rally’s keynote speaker, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, Notzon pointed out that only two South Texas state senators -- Campbell and Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville -- supported Senate Bill 1. Ultimately passed and signed into law, the bill forbids abortion past 20 weeks of gestation, when a fetus is believed to experience pain, and requires abortion clinics to maintain hospital standards for surgery.
During her speech, Campbell recalled the biblical stories of Nehemiah, who led the first rebuilding of Jerusalem, and Esther, who, though a Persian queen through marriage, remembered her fellow Jews.
“Men ... will you be a Nehemiah and help build a wall to protect our nation?” she asked. “Women, will you be an Esther to save our people? ... We can fight for life. Are you with me?”
The “pro-life” crowd responded loudly in the affirmative, but not everyone present was happy. A group of about six counter-demonstrators appeared at the edge of Milam Park, where the rally took place, shouting pro-abortion choice chants and holding signs, one proclaiming, “Women are people too.”
Notzon observed this was the first annual Right to Life rally he knew to draw visible opposition at the site.
Allied Women’s Center Director Tere Herring said in her speech that she received calls from people criticizing her for being a single-issue person and for not caring about poor people. She countered, asserting that abortionists target the poor and that 90 percent of the people who walk through the doors of a crisis pregnancy center are poor.
“All a crisis pregnancy center cares about is that there are human beings, and we are going to save their lives,” Herring said. “Being a single-issue person means doing everything that issue calls you to do.”
Before giving the benediction, the Rev. Larry Christian, vicar general of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, carried on with Herring’s theme.
“Our nation is a nation of human rights for all humans, born and unborn,” Christian said. “We stand up and say the unborn has the same rights as every other human being.”
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