Oregon March for Life Rally

Salem, OR
Anti-Abortion protesters gather in front of Oregon State Capital Building.

Children volunteer to hold signs and a banner for Oregon Right to Life.

SALEM – A rally organized by Right to Life called “March for Life” was held Jan. 29. The group of hundreds gathered in a courtyard just across the street from the Capitol Building. 

March for Life had live music, group prayer, and speakers to host the crowd’s attention on a sunny day. Booths lined the far side of the area with various organizations’ similar views on pregnancy termination, providing props of well-developed (silicone) fetuses wrapped in tiny blankets and large printed graphics to catch the attention of visitors and people walking by. Oregon March for Life 2022 was sponsored by Christian News Northwest, Mater Dei Radio and Oregon Family Council.

While many comparable organizations attended, coming together as a group, not all views are that of Right to Life, as stated in an advisory email Jan. 30.

“Oregon Right to Life is committed to compassionate and empathetic advocacy,” said Executive Director Lois Anderson. “We believe that every person is valuable and deserving of respect, including those with whom we disagree. That should inform how we engage in advocacy.”

The approach of a self-proclaimed “Aboliginist” could be considered aggressive. The group of men had signs that were purposefully disturbing. 

“Abolish Human Abortion appeared at the Oregon March for Life, an event organized by Oregon Right to Life. Abolish Human Abortion came with signs and pamphlets that used aggressive language and graphic imagery. Oregon Right to Life opposes Abolish Human Abortion and other similar extremist abortion groups and their use of tactics intended to intimidate others,” said Trevor Lane of Oregon Right to Life. 

Shawn Kellim, a member of Wellspring Bible Fellowship in Roseburg, asked, “Do you know why we are here?” and quickly said his interpretation. Kellim believes “women are sinners and liars who must repent and accept Jesus Christ,” saying this is the core of his evangelism. “Women have only one choice in forced pregnancy; adoption is the only option in the eyes of god,” though Kellim does not have any adopted children of his own. 

Oregon March for Life Speakers at the event included: Archbishop Alexander Sample, Lucia Taylor of Students for Life America, and Tyler Hanke of Salem First Baptist Church.

Melody Durrett, Linn-Benton alumnus and President of Oregon Right to Life, said, “I got involved with Oregon Right to Life and the pro-life movement when I first heard women who were post-abortive speak about their experiences. I realized that not only is science clear that abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct, whole human being, but abortion also negatively affects women psychologically and often reinforces and hides violence against women.”

“While empathetic listening to women speak about their experiences, I noticed nearly every story I heard included elements of stress and pressure the women faced. Some women were in abusive relationships, some had economic concerns, some were pressured by parents or a boyfriend, and some were told a false narrative that they had to choose between the life of their child and pursuing their hopes and dreams in life. A developed society should offer better than abortion to its citizens.” 

According to the non-profit organization Guttmacher Institute, “Oregon does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.”

“The pro-life movement advocates for non-violent choices while also supporting, showing kindness and caring for abortion-minded women,” said Durrett. “Supporters gathered at the Oregon March for Life and stood up for equal rights for all human beings, including the unborn, while also proving that we are compassionate and supportive to those facing pressure to have an abortion.”

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