By Mary Anne Buchanan
Supporters of West Virginians for Life (WVFL) gathered at the Capitol on Monday, February 24, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for annual Pro-Life Rally Day with the main event, a rally, at noon.
The annual Prayer Processional at 11:30 led by Susan Parsons of Cry out WV, was extremely moving. Many West Virginia prayer warriors were thanking God as they walked for the successful passage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Mike Hall, Gov. Jim Justice’s Chief of Staff, addressed the crowd on his behalf. Also speaking were Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Secretary of State Mac Warner. Born-Alive petitions were held up and photographed. All there could see the amount of support in a visual way.
Bishop Mark Brennan of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese gave the invocation, while Pastor Jamie Estep of Elkins Family Worship Center (also the Randolph County Chapter Leader) pronounced the benediction.
National Right to Life Political Director Karen Cross spoke of the importance of elections and WVFL President Wanda Franz, Ph.D. gave a recap of the Born-Alive Bill.
She mentioned “The Voice of John” documentary which includes the segment from the mouth of nurse Maryann Lawhon. Lawhon tried to save an abortion-surviving baby in a teaching hospital in Morgantown, WV in the late 70’s.
Additionally, Mary H. Tillman, J.D., Legislative Coordinator for the WV Alliance for Ethical Health Care, addressed the “Options in Living Wills Bill” and how it will be revived next year.
Regrettably, many legislators were unable to come to the microphone because the session ran late. At this time in the legislative year, passing laws keeps members in the senate and house chambers far beyond the normal session time.
WVFL is grateful that Delegate John Mandt made it to the podium as did Born-Alive Bill Senate Lead Sponsor Patricia Rucker.
Other highlights included impromptu special singing led by Kanawha County Chapter Leader Missy Ciccarello and “God Bless America” sung by Frank Tettenburn at the conclusion.
Alice Canterbury of Wayne County attended for the first time and was so amazed at “the number of children and teenagers in attendance.”