By Olivia Gans Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL)
Last week, on the eve of the enormously successful Rally and March for Life, VSHL held a special event to honor the courageous pro-life stand taken by state Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15), the House Majority Leader during the tumultuous 2019 session of the General Assembly that just concluded.
Guests gathered to celebrate Delegate Gilbert and special guest speaker, Melissa Ohden. Ohden is a survivor of an abortion attempt, who also spoke the next day at the March. Among those attending the special evening were Delegate John McGuire (R-56), and Speaker of the House Delegates Kirk Cox (R-66).
Delegate Gilbert shared his commitment to using every opportunity to defend innocent human life from conception to natural death. He shared his own thoughts about his involvement in the video of the hearing that captured the moment Del. Kathy Tran admitted the facts behind the radical bill she had introduced—that at her (now defeated) “Repeal Act” would allow abortion up to birth and beyond, “through the third trimester, the third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.”
“The only thing that happened that day was a politician told the truth!,” Del. Gilbert reminded the gathering to a standing ovation!
Ohden brought the human side of the abortion debate into vivid reality. With grace and courage, she shared part of her own story, which started when her own mother was coerced into having a saline abortion when Melissa was almost seven months old in utero.
Mrs. Ohden lifted up the importance of the pro-life movement’s steady efforts to protect every life, including those babies who, like herself, survive abortion attempts.
VSHL is deeply grateful to House Speaker Cox as well, who generously spent the evening, the night before a very busy veto session, with the gathering. He has shown so much conviction this year, in spite of outrageous attacks from pro-abortion and pro-ERA groups. The people of this Commonwealth are truly fortunate to have him in the Speaker’s Chair at this moment in history.
Many thanks to all of the Members of the Board, Staff, and VSHL volunteers who made the event such a success.