Walk for Life in Lincoln marks 50 years
Melissa Ohden, Founder & CEO of The Abortion Survivors Network, speaks a the Walk for Life in Lincoln, Neb.

Walk for Life in Lincoln marks 50 years

On Saturday, Nebraska Right to Life held its 50th “Walk for Life” in Lincoln, making it “the largest, longest-running first amendment demonstration against abortion” in Nebraska, according to emcee Patrick Reese.

The event has drawn over a thousand attendees annually to the steps of the Nebraska State Capitol the past few years, often in spite of bitterly cold weather.

This year’s event also takes place in the shadow of a ballot initiative being pushed by pro-choice advocates to enshrine the right to abortion in the state Constitution.

“It could possibly eliminate all the protective laws that we have in place, including the recent 12 week protections for babies that are in the womb,” said Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Sandy Danek. “Parental consent could be eliminated, the ban on dismemberment abortions, all of the work that we have done for decades to protect these precious babies could be at risk.”

All three of Nebraska’s Congressman — Mike Flood, Don Bacon, and Adrian Smith — spoke at the event, as well as Nebraska’s two Senators, Deb Fischer and Pete Ricketts.

Ricketts said, “There have been seven ballot initiatives in this country so far, and the people who want abortion on demand have won all seven. Here in Nebraska, we can say the the line is drawn here — here, and no further.”

State Auditor Mike Foley speaks to the crowd at the Walk for Life in Lincoln, Neb.

State Auditor and long-time pro-life advocate Mike Foley also spoke. “If you’re truly pro-Choice, how many crisis pregnancy centers do you operate? None. That’s the answer. So I’ll challenge you further. If you see a woman in distress in a crisis pregnancy, and she wants to carry your child to term, will you walk with her? And assist her spiritually, physically mentally, materially? That’s what our crisis pregnancy centers do every day.”

In addition to Nebraska’s federal delegation, 14 state senators were in attendance. Joni Albrecht (District 17) spoke on the Nebraska Agency Health Act, and Rick Holdcroft (District 36) spoke on the Adopt the Newborn Safe Haven Act. They were followed by brief statements from Steve Erdman (District 47), Jana Hughes (District 24), Kathleen Kauth (District 31), Bruce Bostelman (District 23), Myron Dorn (District 30), Speaker John Arch (District 14), Bob Dover (District 19), Christy Armendariz (District 18), Carolyn Bosn (District 25), Beau Ballard (District 21), Brian Hardin (District 48), Loren Lippincott (District 34), and Steve Halloran (District 33).

The keynote speaker for the Walk for Life was Melissa Ohden, a woman who survived a saline abortion in utero back in 1977. She gave a “shout out” to her biological mother Ruth during her brief talk on the steps. “Ruth deserved better than that forced abortion,” Ohden said. “Ruth deserved love and support. Ruth deserved better than to be told that day that the abortion had taken my life successfully. Ruth deserved better than to live decades of her life suffering from that abortion.”

Half a dozen protestors gathered across the street but remained mostly quiet through the event. Mike Foley seemed to speak to them during his moment on the steps. “Our battle in this great cultural issue is not against our family, our friends, and our neighbors, who may have fallen sway to that [pro-choice] ethic,” Foley said “They, like us, are broken people. But they’re created in the image and likeness of God. And all we want for them is the Peace of Christ.”