By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA/PINEVILLE –The inaugural Louisiana Life March in Central Louisiana will be held Jan. 30, and organizers say it has been a long time in the making.
The procession will begin on the Louisiana College campus and continue through Pineville on Main Street before crossing over the Red River at the Jackson Street Bridge to end at the Alexandria Riverfront Amphitheater.
Other Louisiana Life Marches have taken place in Baton Rouge and Shreveport, most recently simultaneously on Jan. 23, but this is the first time such an event will be held in the central part of the state.
“I’m very excited and amazed at the strong response we have received so far from people throughout central Louisiana,” said Ryan Verret, associate director of Louisiana Right to Life. “It has been our desire for quite a while to bring together the pro-life community of this part of the state as well as create a unified voice working together to end the great injustice of abortion that was imposed upon Louisiana women and unborn children in 1973.
“We are preparing for a historic event for our state with the Life March from Pineville to Alexandria on Saturday, Jan. 30,” he continued. “We hope everyone who can make it will please join us in prayer and solidarity as we continue our March to place abortion in the history books of Louisiana.”
Preliminary events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the actual walk beginning at 10 a.m.
Marchers will complete the 1.6 mile walk at noon and have the opportunity to hear pro-life supporters from various denominations and organizers speak, including Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director David Hankins.
“Unfortunately, it’s not breaking news that life in the womb is not valued in our nation,” Hankins said. “Legalized abortion has been the law of the land for decades. But when we may have thought the abortion industry could not become more grisly and calloused, we’ve learned about the selling of baby parts through Planned Parenthood and others.
“It is heartbreaking to know so many view unborn babies as a commodity to be sold rather than a life to be cherished,” he said. “Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to continue to speak, to organize, to pray, and to minister until our culture sees life in the womb as sacred.”
LC President Rick Brewer, who will speak to the crowd at the start of the event, said the Life March represents a walk of faith.
“Our country and our college were founded upon the truths of the Judeo-Christian ethic,” Brewer said. “Similarly, the Louisiana College curricula are reflective of a Christian worldview; it is the fabric of who we are and what we teach.
“This Christian worldview embraces and propounds the truths of God’s Holy Word, which teach us that all life is God-given and is therefore sanctified and sacred,” he continued. “Science increasingly confirms what Christians believe, and that is life – human life, and not mere nameless protoplasm – begins at conception. This is what we believe. This is what we teach. And this is what we will continue to stand for.”
The Louisiana Life March is a chance for different denominations, ages and ethnic and racial backgrounds to march together and pray to declare their opposition to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973. The theme for this year’s march is “Life Is Priceless.”
According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, preliminary numbers for the state in 2013 (latest data available) showed that 10,211 abortions were performed, an average of 28 abortions per day. This was an increase from 9,976 abortions in 2012, continuing a trend from 2011 (9,225) and 2010 (8,955).
For more information on the Louisiana Life March, visit LALifeMarch.com or call 866-463-5433.