King applauds modern-day ‘Wilberforces’ at Rose Day observance
“You are a shining example for our nation, and we thank God for the pro-life community in Oklahoma,”
keynote speaker Alveda King proclaimed to a packed House Chamber during the Rose Day pro-life rally, Feb. 3.
King, of Atlanta, Ga., pastoral associate with Priests for Life and director of African American Outreach for Gospel for Life, and niece of civil rights movement icon Martin Luther King, Jr., reiterated a call to action presented by rally emcee State Rep. Lisa Billy of Purcell, who challenged those present to, “. . . be the William Wilberforces of this generation and continue to fight for the unborn.”
“How many of you know what the abolitionists were?” King asked, directing the query specifically to the hundreds of secondary school students present. “They spoke up for those who could not speak up for themselves.
“Certainly, my uncle was a leader in the 20th Century in the civil rights movement, but he had to have a lot of those who came before him, such as William Wilberforce and his friend, William Pitt, who led the way in stopping the slave trade in the United Kingdom.
“The application fits today and even this morning. You are abolitionists in the pro life movement . . . speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
“As those of my father’s and uncle’s generation fought for a beloved community, we have the Martin Luther Kings of our time fighting for a beloved community—the unborn.”
King pointed to the fact that legislation today is broken up into measures which address only a single topic.
“It’s interesting that today, bills have to be broken up into what they call single subjects. Well, hey, the single subject is still life, you know!” she declared to applause.
“I am very encouraged to see this whole group of bills (to be presented during the Second Session of Oklahoma’s 52nd Legislature).
“Keep working, keep praying and keep coming out here.”
She teased, “we’ve heard that maybe a few of the legislators may be allergic to roses, but take them a rose anyway. But, be an encourager. Do it in love, do it in a joyful spirit, but make sure that you still go and see them.”
Turning to her personal testimony, King said, “The ultrasound changed my mind when I had made an very unfortunate decision in 1973. I had an abortion—an illegal abortion—before that. My doctor who worked with Planned Parenthood, sent me to their office and I had an illegal abortion because Roe v. Wade had not come down by then. They told me it was not a baby, and I believed them because I could not see it. They said it was just a little mound of tissue.
“I believed that because I was also told ‘Don’t talk to your family and don’t talk to your church community. Let us be your friends; just listen to us.’ I was very misinformed; given no information that those decisions could hurt my body and take the life of my baby.
“In 1977, I was pregnant again and an African American medical student told me, ‘That’s not a blob of tissue. That baby has 46 chromosomes—23 from you and 23 from me—and I want my 23 back alive!’ And so, those 46 chromosomes are in law school today.”
King also credited her grandfather, M.L. King, Sr., who influenced her decision not to have a third abortion.
“He said, darling, that’s not a blob of flesh, that’s my great-grandson. Now, none of us had seen an ultrasound, but he said, ‘great-grandson.’ There seems to be a tradition of “dreams” in the King family.
“In 1950, my mother, Naomi, was expecting me, and she had been accepted into college, but the college would not admit pregnant women, married or not. But the school gave her a pamphlet outlining her choices, including abortion.”
King described how her grandfather told her mother he had seen his granddaughter born in a dream three years earlier.
“Daddy King had seen me in a dream and he fought for my life,” King said. “And on Jan. 22, 1951, I was born, and I have lived almost 60 years to be here to speak and stand for life in Oklahoma.
“He fought for my life in 1950 and for my son’s life in 1977. I had a grandfather who fought for life all of my life, praise be to God.
“These legislators in Oklahoma are doing the same thing. But, they can’t just step out into space and make these statements and not have a foundation to stand on. The foundation is your votes and your prayers. So you cannot stand back; increase your numbers. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, and when somebody wants to run for office whether it’s the Republican or Democratic party and they support healthy babies, healthy marriages and healthy families, support them and pray for them.”
Pro-life bills being introduced this session are:
SB 1890 (Sen. Todd Lamb), prohibiting abortions that are done for the purpose of sex-selection;
HB 3284 (Rep. Pam Peterson), reporting abortions performed in Oklahoma, the reasons abortions are sought, and the complications that result;
HB 2780 (Rep. Lisa Billy), providing a woman an ultrasound of her unborn child which she may view prior to undergoing an abortion;
HB 3290 (Rep. Skye McNiel) and SB 1902 (Sen. Todd Lamb), regulating the use of the dangerous chemical abortion pill RU-486, which kills an unborn child who is about two months old;
HB 2656 (Rep. Dan Sullivan), fostering respect for babies with disabilities by disallowing wrongful-life lawsuits that claim a baby would have been better off being aborted;
HB 3075 (Rep. Rebecca Hamilton), ensuring that a mother’s consent to an abortion is truly voluntary and safeguarding against coerced abortions;
SB 1891 (Sen. Todd Lamb) and HB 3110 (Rep. Pam Peterson), protecting health care professionals’ freedom of conscience by affirming their right to refuse to participate in the taking of a human life.