FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Right to Life group and many of its supporters packed Headwaters Park West Sunday for a family picnic. It’s the first year for the the event.
Allen County Right to Life has been active since the 1970’s, but considers 2015 one of the most progressive times yet. With several new state laws in place that support the pro-life cause, the group said this is a historic year for its movement.
“We passed legislation in the Indiana statehouse this year that is absolutely moving the cause forward in ways that we could only dream of,” Executive Director for Allen County Right to Life Cathie Humbarger said.
The group typically holds an annual fundraiser, but wanted to add the picnic to its list of events this year.
“For many years, we’ve gotten together in the fall to celebrate the victories and explain the challenges that are facing us. This year, we’re doing something a little bit different in that we’re expanding this to a family picnic so that we can celebrate the children who are part of our cause,” Humbarger said. “While this is a serious topic, we still want to get together and stand with one another, encourage one another, and have a good time.”
It’s a celebration leaders said comes after months of change at the statehouse.
“As people know, the Planned Parenthood videos have come out recently and it is not an accident that we were also able to pass the legislation that regulates how the baby’s bodies who are victims of abortion are disposed of here in Indiana. The governor signed that bill into law. Emergency regulations went into place July 1st, and we’re going to see more regulations forthcoming so that even in death, these babies will be respected. We also passed legislation to give parents who get an adverse prenatal diagnosis information about support services so that their first thought is not I need to end the life of this child,” Humbarger said.
With more legislation in the pipeline, leaders said they will continue their mission to defund Planned Parenthood.
“Allen County Right to Life is actually the leading affiliate in the state of Indiana and perhaps across the country,” Humbarger said. “We’ve led the way in fighting for the lives of the unborn. As a matter of fact, we’re going to be partnering even more so with Indiana Right to Life through the Enforcement and Regulatory Oversight Committee, which will be vigilant to make certain that the laws and the regulations that are already on the books are enforced and if we find infractions, we’ll be filing complaints and following up with the authorities to make certain that abortion businesses don’t get a pass on the rules and regulations that every other business needs to comply with. There are now no longer abortions being done in Allen County, but we want to make certain that this a very inhospitable community for any other abortion business to start practicing here.”
Leaders also call the younger generation of voters critical to their cause.
“This is probably the most pro-life generation that we’ve had. The young people have been responding for a couple of decades now, and those young people who have been coming to understand the mystery and the beauty of human life are now recognizing that it has to be defended. They’re in the voting boxes now. They’re in the fight. So, they’re adults now who twenty years ago, they weren’t and they’re stepping up and they’re assisting us in the fight for life,” Minister General for the Franciscan Brothers Minor of Fort Wayne Father David Mary Engo said.
Father Engo said he hopes Sunday’s picnic will continue to inspire pro-life supporters to fight for the group’s cause.
“What we want people to do is to be able to understand that the pro-life fight has to go on, that we have to continue to work hard at helping people to understand the beauty and the dignity of human life, that life from the moment of conception until natural death is worth defending. It’s worth protecting, and it’s worth fighting for,” Father Engo said. “We want people to step up, find their courage and strength to defend human life and its dignity and its value.”
Leaders also addressed the pro-choice movement at Sunday’s picnic.
“Everyone that is pro-choice has to realize that we do love them and value them and that we want to be open to a true dialogue of the dignity of human life. For us, this isn’t a matter of hating women. We don’t hate women. We don’t hate them, I mean it’s against the Gospel to hate. We want to have an open dialogue to the truth and the dignity of the human person which the choice for abortion destroys. It destroys both the child and the mother. So, we want to have a nice discussion that’s calm, that is intelligent, that is scientific, that really looks at the issue at hand in a very intelligible and rationale way that’s really able to say that the choice really, the ultimate, beautiful choice is life- the life of the child and the life of the mother,” Father Engo said.
“Our message to those who hold to a pro-choice argument is learn what the truth is. We’re here to stand behind mothers who find themselves in crisis pregnancies because it is a crisis, but this crisis passes. Please find out for yourselves what abortion is. Don’t listen to the talking points. Don’t listen to the rhetoric and the red herring arguments. Find out for yourself, and ask yourself in your heart of hearts, if you want to be part of a movement that calls for the annihilation of over 55 million little boys and girls since 1973,” Humbarger said.
Humbarger said she believes this year of change will lead to an eventual end of abortion in the United States.
“I believe with all of my heart that this is a watershed moment in the history of the United States. I think more and more people are becoming aware of the atrocity that abortion is not just for the babies, but also for the mothers. It’s a plague on the conscience of our country, and I believe that this year, 2015, will be the year that we mark on the calendar when we look back over history as the year that this began unraveling, and we’ll see an end of it very soon,” Humbarger said.