.- Hundreds of pro-life advocates gathered on the west steps of the Colorado capitol on Sunday for the March for Life rally and walk ahead of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Father Rocco Porter, pastor of Blessed John XXIII University Parish in Fort Collins, Colo., encouraged the crowd to persist in their advocacy to end legalized abortion, which the U.S. Supreme Court declared a constitutional right in 1973.
“God's plan takes time. God's conversion in everyone’s heart takes a lifetime,” he said at the Jan. 20 rally.
“God allows us to fight this fight,” he added. “We have to fight this fight, because he knows we will be victorious. In every fight from David and Goliath to now, the giant will fall. And when the giant falls, we will see our victory. It is not a victory for ourselves but a victory for God.”
Police estimated attendance at 1,500 people, while organizers said it drew more participants than any previous pro-life march in Denver. After the rally, marchers took a winding path through downtown Denver, with many people carrying pro-life signs and banners. Organizers said the march was half a mile long.
Other rally speakers included Fr. W. Scott Daniels, O.P., a priest associate with Priests for Life; pro-life speaker and founder of Issues4Life Walter B. Hoye II of Oakland, Calif.; author and former legal abortion advocate Jane Brennan; Julie Averill, Denver regional coordinator of Silent No More; and Michael Voris of Church Militant TV.
Author and former radio host Gregg Jackson emceed the rally.
Several women who had had abortions shared their stories. One woman said she had an abortion at age 16 after her father and stepmother threatened to throw her out of the house. She recounted how she later acquired her medical records of the act in an effort to heal. She discovered, however, that the records from the abortion clinic misrepresented her age and the age of her unborn baby and incorrectly said she had been shown an ultrasound of her baby.
March for Life Denver director Rosalinda Lozano told CNA Jan. 20. that the pro-life movement in Colorado is “blessed with amazing pro-life advocates” and there are “many dedicated people” who want to find “the key to ending abortion.” She said the pro-life movement only needs improvement in “unity in numbers.”
She credited the organization Personhood Colorado for encouraging more interest in the movement. Lozano expressed gratitude to long-time pro-life advocates for their “dedication and perseverance.”
Lozano said young people new to the movement should remember that their life has value.
“Be an example of that value and actively promote the pro life movement in your life. You are the generation who can end this evil against the innocent,” she said.
One of the many young attendees was Jessica Clark, Vice President of Regis University Students for Life.
Clark told CNA that pro-life advocates have to testify that life is “not a burden, but a gift.”
“Life is a gift and our culture is constantly trying to tell us otherwise,” she noted.
Earlier that day, Catholics packed the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception across the street from the capitol for the Respect Life Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver.
At the same time as the capitol rally, about three hundred people attended a prayer vigil at Lighthouse Women’s Center in north Denver. Archbishop Aquila led the vigil and blessed participants before leading a procession to the abortion clinic Planned Parenthood Stapleton, the Archdiocese of Denver reports.
They prayed at the clinic and a choir of seminarians led a song in honor of the Virgin Mary. Many people placed flowers at the facility’s fence.