By DENISE FEDOROW
ELKHART — They came from all over Elkhart County — Elkhart, Goshen, Nappanee, Millersburg and more to rally together in support for life and the end to abortion. The Rally for Life was held at the Lerner Theatre by The Elkhart County Right to Life organization. Representatives from RETA (Reason Enough To Act) and Hannah’s House were on hand.
Organizers said the numbers attending have grown since last year. Many were first-time attendees like Evadene Graber, who came with her husband Arden and their son from Nappanee to hear the keynote speaker.
Evadene said the cause is “core to my values in life. It is very dear to our hearts that unborn children are protected.”
Julie Senger of Millersburg was there with her family — husband Jack and children Jamie, Jarrett and Jenna. The family attends St. John the Evangelist Church in Goshen and Julie said they are “pro-lifers.”
“I wanted to be here to show our kids how important it is — that this is part of our faith and we need to stand up for what we believe in,” she said. Senger said she couldn’t imagine life without any of her children and she believes the time is right to share this issue especially with her teenage sons.
Jane Hoover of Goshen also was a first-time attendee. Hoover said she was there to “affirm the sanctity of life. I want to pass on a legacy to my grandchildren that they are God’s precious children.”
She believes continuing to have such rallies are important “because society has become desensitized to what is now the norm in the U.S. Abortion will never be right,” Hoover said. “It’s time to bring back the sanctity of life.”
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski spoke briefly to the crowd saying, “This is a great day to declare life in Elkhart County. We’re here for those who don’t have a voice.”
Keynote speaker was Peter Heck, teacher, author and radio show host, who told the audience he believes this will be “the generation that will end the abortion holocaust.”
“Fifty-five million lives taken since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 — more than Hitler or Stalin. Every 94 seconds an abortion was performed in 2011. Those were human beings who were denied the inalienable right to life,” Heck said. “Every day in this country a slaughter worse than 9-11 goes on. We lost 3,000 lives on 9-11; 4,000 children are sacrificed a day.”
However, he said he believes this will be the generation to end abortion because the key point of what is in the womb has been established. He said the legislation for Roe v. Wade even states that “if the case is made that a fetus is a person than the fetus’ right to life is guaranteed by the 14th amendment.”
Heck said that case has been made and any argument that is made against it sounds absurd.
Women from an organization called Silent No More also spoke. They are all women who’ve had abortions. Two of them from Fort Wayne shared their personal stories, sharing the physical and emotional pain that no one prepared them for, the years of regret, shame and guilt until they found redemption and the road to healing.
Darlene Leitz of Goshen has been a board member on the Elkhart County Right to Life for approximately five years and is also a member of the Holy Innocents Pro Life Group, which has members from St. John’s, St. Vincent’s, St. Thomas the Apostle in Elkhart and St. Mary’s in Bristol.
Leitz said her hope is that “people will work harder, like Peter Heck said, to see the truth and be part of the solution.” Leitz believes in protecting life for all, from the moment of conception to natural death.
After the program the group marched to the Women’s Care Center where they concluded with prayer.