VALPARAISO | Some 60 people gathered on the north lawn of the Porter County Courthouse on Saturday to protest the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
"This is the first of what I hope is an annual event," said Al Raffin, president of Porter County Right to Life, adding it is an event to show solidarity "with brothers and sisters who can't make the march in Washington, D.C., next week."
Raffin said Roe v. Wade, along with a companion case, "opened the door to change fundamentally our culture."
"We seek to change it back to the ways under God," he said.
"Some 200,000 people will be in Washington, D.C., next week. It is a very spiritual experience. We will be there in spirit with them," Raffin said.
The goal there will be to promote the protection of life and urge the adoption of a human rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he said.
In addition to Raffin, the group heard from a woman identified only as Debbie. She told the group that she had an abortion at age 19 in 1979. She told them she struggled with that decision and struggled throughout life until she found God and forgiveness.
The Rev. Dave Gargano, pastor of Road to Life Church in Chesterton, also addressed the group, saying that as teens he and his wife faced the same choice, but chose to have their daughter.
"It comes down to that one thing. That one thing is life. Life begins before we even see the light of day. We have to stand for the millions of babies not given the chance at life," Gargano said.
Also participating in the Prayer Vigil for Life were the Rev. Jim Beversdorf, a retired Lutheran minister, who led the group in prayer; Michael Velasco, Indiana Knights of Columbus state pro-life director, who spoke of his experiences in the march and efforts of his group; and the Rev. Theodore Mens, pastor at St. Mary's Church in Griffith and pro-life director for the Catholic Diocese of Gary.