Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
Eve Owen listens during a Portland pro-life rally Jan. 17 that focused on young women leaders.
Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
Eve Owen listens during a Portland pro-life rally Jan. 17 that focused on young women leaders.
In a rally that featured mostly young women as speakers, Oregon’s pro-life advocates on Jan. 17 claimed science and political momentum.

“The strongest arguments against abortion don’t come from religion. They come from science, they come from reason and they come from our country’s own laws,” said Harmony Daws, president of Oregon Right to Life.

Daws’ speech was part of a rally that drew about a thousand people to Pioneer Square in Portland, despite rain. Friday, Jan. 22, is the 43 anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.   

Daws pointed to medical findings such as fetal brain activity at six or seven weeks and the ability to feel pain at 10 or 20 weeks.  She had people born after 1973, like she was, cheer. A special youth rally followed the main gathering.  

You’re not going to have peace if you are not respecting the most basic human right,” said Eve Owen, a young member of St. Patrick Parish in Portland who attended the day. Owen says abortion is an indication that society has failed women, since it makes the most feminine act — giving birth — seem like a problem or a disease.

Archbishop Alexander Sample gave opening remarks before delivering a prayer.

“I join with all Oregonians in the love for creation and the beauty of all that is around us, but it’s inconsistent at the same time not respect the crowing work of God’s creation, the human person, created in his own image and likeness,” the archbishop said.

He cited Laudato Si’, in which Pope Francis declared that concern for creation is incompatible with justification of abortion.  

In the crowd, many people held banners and balloons. One was Pat Schreck, leader of the Knights of Columbus at St. Pius X Parish in Portland. The Knights give money for right to life vigils and pay for banners.

“We basically are non-combative, prayerful peaceful people,” Schreck said, saying that love can change people.

Lila Rose, a pro-life activist from California who became famous for entering abortion sites undercover, told the crowd that the pro-life effort is a fight against “powerful alliances.”

She once posed as a girl in need of an abortion after rape and visited a Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles. She called it the most hopeless place she had ever seen.

“Women deserve better than abortion,” said Rose. “Children are a gift and not a threat.”

Rose said that polls are showing more Americans are pro-life, especially millennials.