By Tim Yarbrough, Communications & Development, Arkansas Right to Life
LITTLE ROCK – A jubilant crowd of more than a thousand braved the elements on a cold and rainy day on Jan. 22 to march and celebrate the end of legalized abortion in Arkansas at the 45th March for Life at the State Capitol.
Marchers walked about eight blocks down Capitol Avenue to the steps of the State Capitol for a short program. Dignitaries included newly-elected Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, constitutional officers, and dozens of state lawmakers.
Abortion survivor and pro-life advocate Gianna Jessen stirred the crowd to tears and applause during a passionate speech denouncing the evil and horror of abortion. Jessen’s live birth was the product of a failed saline abortion in 1975. Two months premature and weighing just two and a half pounds, she spent her first couple of months in a hospital. Eventually, she entered the foster care system and was adopted.
“I believe with all of my heart I am alive because of the power of the Most High God in the name of Jesus Christ,” Jessen said, adding “And I am here to say on this day, we won!”
After leading the crowd in a victory shout, Jessen shared about the challenges she has overcome as the victim of an unsuccessful abortion – a procedure that resulted in what she calls “the gift” of cerebral palsy because it allows her to rely on Jesus for everything.
Jessen implored the crowd to keep fighting for the unborn.
“What this represents today is the power of prayer and endurance not to give up,” she said. “We need that kind of grit again in America, we need that kind of courage in America and this represents that. So please just keep going!”
The march, sponsored by Arkansas Right to Life, marked the 50th anniversary of the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, as well as the June 24, 2022, Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion issue to the state legislatures.
In Arkansas, the ruling ended abortion immediately due to Act 180 of 2019.