PLATTSBURGH — A crowd gathered at the Newman Center in Plattsburgh on Sunday, determined to spread a message that life is sacred at every stage.
“From cradle to grave, we want everybody to be here as long as they can, and that’s what life is all about,” said Deacon Jack Lukasiewicz of Plattsburgh’s Our Lady of Victory Church, as he and other men and women prepared to make the trek from the Newman Center to Saint John’s Church for the 40th-annual Plattsburgh March for Life.
As part of the event, which is sponsored by Champlain Valley Right to Life, participants marched down Broad Street, donning winter wear and carrying signs with various anti-abortion messages, including “Stop All Abortions,” “I Regret My Abortion” and “Face It — Abortion Kills.”
“The hope is to bring to light to people who also read the paper, in addition to people that are here, that there is a right to life ... there’s no choice … God commands that we allow people to live in the womb, as well as on Earth,” said Deacon Jack Cogan of the Newman Center and Saint John’s Church, who was among the event’s participants. “No one has a right to take that life away.”
Marchers were met with sunshine and temperatures near 40 degrees; however, they proceeded down Broad Street with caution, mindful of ice beneath their feet.
“We’ve been doing the marches since Roe v. Wade,” said event participant Dr. John Middleton, who founded Champlain Valley Right to Life with his wife, Claire, 42 years ago.
The landmark Supreme Court decision of 1973 made abortions legal in the United States.
“What we hope to have is that the Supreme Courts or somebody will reverse the ruling,” Middleton said.
Upon reaching Saint John’s, marchers filed into the church to pray and listen to the words of guest speaker Kathleen Gallagher, director of Pro-Life Activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.