Pro-life demonstrators rally at Gibbel Park

Each carries a cross representing thousands of aborted births

Photos Courtesy of Valley Pro-Life and Yvette Quintana
Hemet area citizens opposed to abortion leave a rally at Gibbel Park before walking together along sidewalks in procession to the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

■ By Ann Walsh / Contributed

More than 600 valley residents representing a coalition of Protestant and Catholic churches demonstrated against abortion and in favor of the sanctity of life during a rally and march in Hemet Saturday, Jan. 26.
The rally and “walk for life” was sponsored by the Valley Pro-Life organization.

Nearly 600 pro-life demonstrators took part in the rally and walk for life Jan. 26.

Some 29 churches were represented, an indication of the broad base of pro-life support in the valley. There were 605 people who registered, but more people than that attended. Some 549 people took part in the walk.
Music was provided by Thomas “TK” Brown and Tom Tanny. The emcee was Pastor Gene Smith of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. The opening prayer was given by Father Mike Onwuemelie of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Kaleb Perkins spoke eloquently on behalf of youth and claimed that his is the pro-life generation.
Pastor Randy Jones of Valle Vista Assembly of God Church spoke about the importance of everyone working together in defense of life.
Karlee Meyer, Hemet City Council member, spoke on the topic of adoption. Janette Chun, CEO of Birth Choice, spoke about her organization’s local pregnancy center that is available for any woman facing a challenging pregnancy.

The marchers planted their crosses in a mock cemetery near Prince of Peace Lutheran Church to help passersby visualize the vast number of abortions performed in the U.S. – over 1 million annually.

After listening to music, speakers, and praying together at Gibbel Park, participants each took up a white cross and carried it in a solemn procession along Florida Avenue and up Sanderson to place it in a “cemetery” at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Each cross represented one of the 3,000 fetuses, or babies, aborted daily in the U.S.
Mandy McKelvey sang, “Who Will Speak for the Little Ones,” a song that touched the hearts of all present. Pastor Jim McKelvey of Primera Iglesia Bautista Lakeview led the closing prayer.
Rachel’s Vineyard had a table with information for those who may need help with post abortion grief. Birth Choice also brought its mobile unit, which includes a sonogram machine donated by the Knights of Columbus.
“We are the people of life, and we are the ones who are there to support and walk with women,” say Valley Pro-Life organizers. “We are the ones who adopt, and yes we adopt handicapped children, they too are real human beings with a right to life. We are there for those hurting after abortion, and that includes men, parents, and siblings.”
The organization points out that since 1973, more than 60 million babies have died due to abortions.
“We’re here to raise awareness to this terrible holocaust,” say organizers.
The Valley Pro-Life group says it wishes to distance itself from those who were cheering when a liberal abortion law allowing abortion in the last trimester was passed in New York, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo lit up the World Trade Center in celebration.
“It was as if the expansion of the killing was somehow a gift to women,” say Pro-Life organizers.
They point with horror to the initiative in Virginia to remove restrictions on trimester abortions.
“I felt I was in a foreign country when I heard Virginia Republican House majority leader discuss a proposed abortion bill,” says a Pro-Life organizer. Rep. Todd Gilbert wanted to know specifically whether a child in the process of being born (crowning) could still be aborted under a proposed bill.
“Yes,” came the answer from the bill’s sponsor, Virginia Democratic Del. Kathy Tran.
Pro-Life organizers wonder how long will society pretend that abortion is something other than what it is?

Ann Walsh is the longtime director of Valley Pro-Life. For more information, visit

A solemn procession of 549 pro-lifers heads out from Gibbel Park along Florida to Sanderson carrying crosses that symbolize the thousands of abortions performed in the U.S. everyday.

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