On January 17, a couple thousand people gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square for the annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Rally and Walk to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.

The rally kicked off with a performance by the Portland Praise Band. Archbishop Alexander Sample delivered a prayer and opening remarks.

“I join with all Oregonians in the love for creation and the beauty of all that is around us, but it’s inconsistent to at the same time not respect the crowning work of God’s creation, the human person, created in his own image and likeness,” the archbishop said.

Speeches from pro-life leaders affirmed that the movement is gaining both scientific and political momentum.

“The strongest arguments against abortion don’t come from religion. They come from science, they come from reason and they come from our country’s own laws,” said Harmony Daws, president of Oregon Right to Life. Daws referenced medical research that has found fetal brain activity and fetal ability to feel pain.

Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, said that Americans are becoming increasingly pro-life.

“Women deserve better than abortion. Children are a gift and not a threat,” said Rose.

Following the rally, people walked through downtown Portland. A student rally with a couple hundred youth was held afterwards.

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.