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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Steve Lutz hands out “Choose Life” signs Saturday during the March for Life, a protest against the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Participants march down Berry St. during the 44th annual March for Life on Saturday January 27, 2018. The March for Life is a peaceful protest to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion across the country through all nine months of pregnancy. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Deanna Berghoff, 12, left, and her cousin Isabelle Sharp, 13, hold signs during the 44th annual March for Life on Saturday January 27, 2018. The March for Life is a peaceful protest to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion across the country through all nine months of pregnancy. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Participants march down Calhoun St. during the 44th annual March for Life on Saturday January 27, 2018. The March for Life is a peaceful protest to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion across the country through all nine months of pregnancy. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Thousands of people head down Berry Street during the 44th annual March for Life on Saturday in protest of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. See the story on Page 1C.

Sunday, January 28, 2018 1:00 am

Thousands join local March for Life

Woman tells how failed abortion led to adoption

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Thousands packed into the University of Saint Francis on Saturday for the Allen County March for Life in protest of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down 45 years ago. 

“Long enough,” was the mantra Saturday as the group prepared to march through downtown Fort Wayne despite the day's cold rain. Among Saturday's speakers were U.S. Reps. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and Todd Rokita, R-4th, who is also running for U.S. Senate. Those assembled also heard from Kelsey Vander Vliet, who was attending her first March for Life.

Various elected officials and leaders of Fort Wayne's faith community were also in attendance Saturday. 

After a failed attempted abortion, Vliet carried her son to term 18 months ago and gave him to a couple for adoption. The fact that the abortion didn't take, Vliet said, was an act of God. 

“I was never going to walk out of that clinic on Sept. 24. I did not have the strength alone,” Vliet said. “I was never going to stop for someone on the sidewalk, and I know there are a lot of women that do but there are a lot of women like me who won't. God gave me a second chance that day and it was through no action of my own.”

An official from Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky acknowledged the demonstrators' message, but upheld the organization as a health care provider. 

“While marching is an important part of civic engagement, we understand that providing medically accurate health care to our patients is life changing,” said Christie Gillespie, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. “No one does more to reduce unintended pregnancies in Indiana than PPINK and we are encouraged that the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in our state continue to decline due to our preventive and education services.”

dgong@jg.net