By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
COLUMBIA, SC (January 11) – South Carolina Citizens for Life held its annual Proudly Pro-Life Weekend January 8-9, 2021, featuring actress Ashley Bratcher, star of the pro-life film Unplanned.
The weekend events included the Proudly-Pro-Life Dinner Friday night, and the 48th annual Stand Up for Life March and Rally on Saturday. Approximately 1,000 pro-life people attended one or both of the weekend events. The Stand Up for Life March and Rally has been held every year since 1974 regardless of weather or other impediments.
Gov. Henry McMaster and First Lady Peggy McMaster attended the dinner with Gov.Mc Master introducing Miss Bratcher who portrayed Abbey Johnson, author of the book Unplanned on which the film Unplanned was based.
Lt. Governor Pamela Evette and members of her staff and family attended the dinner and the March and Rally on Saturday. Approximately 500 marcher, lead by the Knights of Columbus Color Guard, enjoyed sunny but slightly chilly weather for the March and Rally at the State House grounds.
Lt. Governor Evette introduced Miss Bratcher at the Rally. At both events, Miss Bratcher spoke compellingly about her role as a former Planned Parenthood facility director who became pro-life after watching an ultrasound-guided abortion during which she witnessed the baby’s struggle to survive. Miss Bratcher recounted her own pro-life story that she became aware of during the filming of Unplanned.
South Carolina Citizens for Life presented two special awards to members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, including to House Speaker Jay Lucas for his leadership in getting pro-life laws passed, and to Representative John McCravy who started the House Family Caucus to emphasize passage of pro-life and pro-family legislation. Honored also with the SCCL Lifetime Achievement Award was long-time SCCL Senior Policy Advisor and lobbyist Joe Mack who garnered enormous respect of members of the General Assembly and their staff. He retired at the age of 81.
SCCL President Lisa Van Riper emceed both events. “I saw this weekend the people in South Carolina committed to continuing to protect the lives of the unborn and medically fragile,” she said.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, she said, “We need never to forget that after the scourge of COVID-19 ends, we still will be facing the scourge of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. We must continue to rid society of the scourge of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia with as much energy as we work to rid society of COVID-19 virus.”
South Carolina Citizens for Life complied with every COVID-19 precaution recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and pro-life Governor McMaster’s Executive Order for events with more than 250 attendees.