Life rally returns to Capitol Mall in Legislative year

By Christian News Northwest
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SALEM —After taking place the past two years at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, the state’s largest annual pro-life rally returns to Salem’s Capitol Mall on Sunday, Jan. 16. Coordinated by Oregon Right to Life and supported by a wide range of other pro-life groups and ministries, the Roe vs. Wade Memorial Rally is timed to be near on the calendar to the Jan. 22 anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand. An estimated 53 million lives have been lost to abortion nationally during the intervening 38 years.  The annual rally had been held for many years outside the State Capitol, drawing about several hundred people on average. But holding the rallies in downtown Portland in 2009 and 2010 drew far larger crowds — up to an estimated 7,000.

Gayle Atteberry, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, is hopeful that the momentum seen in the Rose City will carry back to the state’s capital city.

“Even though we will not be in Portland this rally, we are going to bring the ‘Portland-style’ rally to Salem,” she said.

Atteberry said the cost of holding the event in Portland each year was prohibitive.  “It is extremely expensive in Portland, so our board thought we may trade back and forth between the cities,” she said. “It made sense to bring the rally back to the Capitol this year, as the legislators are going back in session this month. We are going to have an emphasis on prayer for each and every legislator during this session.”

The event runs from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. It will be preceded at 2:20 p.m. by music from a praise band from Bethany Baptist Church in Salem.

Besides a variety of speakers, the rally also will feature the Oregon Memorial Wall for the Unborn. Atteberry described it as a “permanent moveable” wall, first set up this year at Oregon State University by the Right to Life chapter there.

“It contains 11,862 names, the exact number of babies who were aborted in Oregon in 2007, and a similar number to that aborted every year in Oregon,” she said. “It looks like the Vietnam Memorial Wall — very impressive.”

For more information on the Salem rally, phone Oregon Right to Life at 503-463-8563 or go to

In addition to the big rally in Salem, nine smaller rallies or other pro-life events are planned around the state on the following dates: Jan. 16— Roseburg and Grants Pass; Jan. 22 — Coos Bay, Eugene, Medford, Klamath Falls and Salem, and Jan. 23 — Gold Beach and Vale. See the Christian Events Calendar section on this web site for details.

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