Around five thousand people gathered at the north steps of the Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday for the annual Walk for Life rally. The gathering draws a large crowd every year, and in a year when the midterm election highly favors Republican candidates, and a year when the Supreme Court may issue a landmark ruling on Roe vs. Wade, the crowd this year couldn’t have been more engaged. Several gubernatorial candidates showed up to walk, including Brett Lindstrom, Jim Pillen, and Theresa Thibodeau. Congressmen Don Bacon and Jeff Fortenberry were among the many speakers, as was State Senator Mike Flood, who is challenging Fortenberry for his seat in Nebraska’s first district. Both of Nebraska’s U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (who received a “boo” from one member of the crowd) and Deb Fischer also spoke, as did Mike Hilgers, current Speaker of the Legislature and candidate for Attorney General. Julie Slama, a state senator who has introduced a “heartbeat” bill to the legislature, also spoke.
The potential Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade seemed to be on everyone’s mind. “I can’t tell the future any better than you can,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, “But I have a sense a great moment is coming and that the United States Supreme Court will very soon one day tear down that wicked Roe v. Wade and send it where it belongs,”
One surprise speaker also made an appearance — veteran Nebraska coach and current senior offensive analyst for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ron Brown. He came just as an attendee but was asked to speak, telling the crowd his story of being given up for adoption rather than being aborted. Special guest Ashley Bratcher, who played the role of Abby Johnson in the film Unplanned, was the final speaker of the event and gave a talk at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus following the Walk.
Attendees then marched from the Capitol steps to Nebraska UN-L Student Union, with many of the speakers walking among the thousands down 14th Street.