Kentucky March for Life draws hundreds to state Capitol

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

By Tessa Redmond, Kentucky Today

FRANKFORT — Pro-life supporters from across Kentucky and beyond converged in Frankfort for the Kentucky March for Life on Tuesday, undeterred by rain and chilly temperatures.

“Today we’re celebrating,” said Addia Wuchner, executive director of the event’s sponsor, Kentucky Right to Life. “We’re celebrating the laws, and the lives that have been saved in the commonwealth since the overturning of Roe and since the ending of abortion in Kentucky.”

After marching from East 2nd Street, down Capital Avenue and up the Capitol steps, marchers gathered in the rotunda for a rally. The theme: “Love Them Both.”

Cecil Blye, pastor of More Grace Ministries in Louisville, expanded on that idea.

“We’ve got to love them both…I’m not talking about polemics. I’m not talking about just slogans. But we’re not going to just love them both; we’re going to love them in the right way,” Blye said. “I’m talking about resources. I’m talking about money, education. I’m talking about protection from violence. I’m talking about counseling. I’m talking about walking through processes with…women who are in a crisis pregnancy, and not just to the birth date, but after the child is born.”

State Auditor Allison Ball, the first constitutional officer to give birth while serving in office— and also the first to do so twice — encouraged those present to expand their understanding of front lines pro-life work.

“We think about the laws, right? We think about the attorney general when he’s out there fighting in the courtroom. We think about those things as being the front lines of this mission of protecting children, protecting moms and dads and their siblings.”

Ball said day-to-day interactions are more impactful.

“Those interactions really make a stronger, bigger impact than we realize…I want you not to underestimate the power you have, that God has given you, the influence that you have right now to go forward and make dramatic differences in real people’s lives on this issue,” Ball said.

Dr. Hershael York, senior pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church, shared four words needed in the pro-life movement: sanctity, clarity, charity and bravery.

“We need to believe in the core of our being that every human life is sacred, that every human being bears the image of God and has an inherent dignity and is worthy of respect and honor,” York said, pointing to Genesis 1:27 and Ruth 4:13. “The pro-life movement has to constantly affirm life, not merely oppose abortion. That’s why we say we love them both.”

York said pro-life individuals need to speak the truth relentlessly.

“When they say abortion, we say murder. When they say fetus, we say baby. When they say reproductive health, we know they mean abortion on demand. They say the right to choose; we know they mean the license to kill. When they say pro-choice, they mean pro-abortion. When they say Planned Parenthood, they really mean premeditated murder. We need to say the truth.”

York also encouraged support for women and pregnancy centers, help for young women and families and creating a culture of care: “Wherever we have influence, we use it to help women, mothers and families in need.”

The issue of exceptions to Kentucky’s abortion bans in cases of rape and incest— recently articulated by pro-abortion legislators through the filing of Senate Bill 99 on Jan. 9 — loomed large during the rally.

Wuchner posed a question to attendees: “Do you believe that a child conceived as a result of rape is any less human, or has less dignity than a child conceived in the loving embrace of their parents?”

Murmurs of “no” whistled throughout the rotunda.

“The conditions of our conception, how we came into being does not change the value and dignity of our lives,” Wuchner concluded.

Two women conceived through rape spoke on Tuesday.

Chrystal York‘s mother conceived her at 18 years old when her biological father would not take no for an answer. When York asked her why she chose life, her mother said, “You were innocent.”

“I am thankful to have a go at life,” York said. “I am thankful that my mother did not put the sin of my father upon me.”

“I’m not famous, I’m not a legislator, I’m not a pastor, but I’m a human being,” said Brittany Bogard. “I was conceived in rape. The amount of people here to support people like me and Ms. York is powerful.”

Bogard also thanked Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Nancy Tate and Rep. Walker Thomas for giving her her voice.