The 2016 Texas Rally for Life was an enormous success. Thousands of Texans from across the state, estimated at between 3,000 and 6,000, marched to the south steps of the Texas Capitol to stand for life. The Texas Rally for Life commemorated the 43rd anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, which made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy. In the wake of Roe, legal abortion in our nation has claimed the lives of more than 57 million unborn children and has hurt countless women and men.
Texas Pro-Life Primer
Texas Alliance for Life sponsored a Pro-Life Primer held in the State Capitol before most of the day began. We briefed attendees on the pro-life movement’s legislative successes, the status of HB 2, and our legislative successes from the recent 84th Legislative Session.
After the briefing, most attendees went to the Ministry Fair on the corner of 18th Street and North Congress Avenue. This year 51 organizations joined the Host Committee to help put on the Texas Rally for Life. Each organization who joined the Host Committee was invited to have a booth at the Ministry Fair from 12:00-1:30. Hundreds of people flocked to get information. Dozen of buses dropped off eager pro-lifers from many parts of the state including Abilene, Corpus Christi, Houston, Fort Worth, Midland, Pearland, San Antonio, and other cities.
March to the Capitol
After the Ministry Fair, thousands of marchers began to lineup at the starting point behind Austin Catholic Diocese Bishop Vasquez, the Knights of Columbus, and dozens of students from John Paul II High School from Corpus Christi carrying the Texas Rally for Life banner.
Thousands of Texans marched to the Capitol with signs and shirts with pro-life messages such as “My Generation Will End Abortion” in blue, and “Defund Planned Parenthood” in pink.
The 2016 Texas Rally for Life Program
The Texas Rally for Life began with an invocation by Bishop Vasquez.
The event was wonderfully emceed by Heather Gardner, the Executive Director for Central Texas Coalition for Life. CTCL heads up the 40 Days for Life effort in Central Texas.
The first speaker was a representative from Governor Greg Abbott’s office, Ben Taylor. Ben addressed the crowd by reading a personal letter from Governor Greg Abbott, and he then commended the crowd for standing for life.
The letter reads “I want to thank all of you for being here. Our state stands at the forefront of the campaign to preserve the sanctity of life, and what better picture of commitment than Texans gathered at their State Capitol to demand the protection of the most vulnerable among us. I also want to thank Texas Alliance for Life, today’ sponsors and leaders at the local, state and federal levels who are working every day to put an end to abortion.“
The second speaker was Texas State Senator Donna Campbell. Senator Campbell sponsored HB 416 in the Senate this past session. HB 416 requires abortion facilities to train workers to identify and assist victims of sex trafficking.
Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, spoke next and gave an update on the sensational pro-life successes that Texas has seen this past year, but Pojman also stressed the importance of the work that remains to be done in Texas.
The keynote speaker for the 2016 Texas Rally for Life was Melissa Ohden, a saline abortion survivor. Melissa delivered a compelling speech on the value of every human life. She also stressed the importance of loving and forgiving people who have chosen abortion. You do not want to miss her speech.
Next, Christine Melchor, Director of Houston Coalition for Life, spoke to the crowd about what it takes to be the last line of defense for women by standing outside of the abortion facilities. She also talked about the two mobile pregnancy center units in Houston and how they are saving lives.
Finally, Worship Pastor Shedrach Rowry of Austin Christian Fellowship offered the Benediction.
The Levites band and choir beautifully closed out the event by singing “Glory Glory Hallelujiah.”
You can find a list of media coverage on our website here.
Find hundreds of photos from the 2015 Texas Rally for Life on the Texas Alliance for Life Facebook page.
Mark you calendar on Saturday, January 28, 2017, for next year’s Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol in Austin.