World Congress of Families IX: Abortion harms women and the unborn

Alex Clark
Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks about her own experience with abortion and how it harms women at the World Congress of Families on Tuesday. King is director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel Life Ministries. (Alex Clark)

Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., highlighted a panel of pro-life speakers at the World Congress of Families in Salt Lake Tuesday afternoon. Panelists focused on fighting abortion, and facing discrimination against their pro-life views in a loving and Christian manner.

“Pro-life means that we respect every life from conception or fertilization until natural death,” King said to an audience gathered in the Grand Ballroom of Grand America Hotel. “So that’s the babies, the sick, the elderly and the poor.”

King also spoke out against Planned Parenthood, accusing the non-profit organization of targeting minority women as clients for their abortion services. Having undergone two abortions as a young woman, King described how a Planned Parenthood worker persuaded her to reject her family’s teachings on life and undergo an abortion. After a self-described “come to Jesus” moment in 1983, King said she repented and took up the cause of promoting the pro-life cause.

“A woman has a right to choose what she does with her body,” King said. “But the baby isn’t her body.”

Other speakers at the event included Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews, and Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life. Each affirmed the sanctity of life while emphasizing the harm abortion does to a woman’s health.

“Abortion dramatically increases a woman’s suicide risk,” Yoest said in reference to a study conducted by a pro-life New Zealand researcher. “In fact, 27 percent of women who aborted reported experiencing suicidal thoughts. Among minors who choose abortion, that percentage goes up to 50 percent.”

Yoest finished by alluding to Dr. Seuss’ classic, “Horton Hears a Who!”, connecting her pro-life stance to Horton’s message that, “a person’s a person, no matter how small!”

The conference continues through Friday, Oct. 30 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

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