By Corinne Murdock |
The evangelist daughter of civil rights activist Reverend A.D. King and niece of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda King, will be the featured speaker at the Arizona for Life March and Rally on Saturday. King’s remarks will be paired by those from Karyme Lozano, former ASU Sun Devil and retired NFL player J.D. Hill, and former President Donald Trump. The president’s message will be screened to the crowd prior to his own rally later that day in Florence, Arizona.
In a press release, King characterized the pro-life movement as a continuance of the original civil rights movement.
“It is such an honor to be given the opportunity to speak in front thousands of people that make up the amazing pro-life community in Arizona,” said King. “As a mother of six, it truly inspires me to see the continuation of the civil rights movement embodied in the pro-life movement.”
In an interview with AZ Free News, Ashley Trussell — board member of the group behind the event, Arizona Life Coalition (ALC) — explained further that abortion is a current civil rights issue.
“Our goal is to abolish abortion,” explained Trussell. “Alveda was picked strategically because of her fight for the unborn. She’s always been an advocate for civil rights just like her father and uncle. We believe abortion is the current civil rights atrocity. She has been through abortion, she knows what it does in the black community, and she has been their voice.”
The keynote speaker for the 2020 Arizona for Life March and Rally was prominent pro-life activist Abby Johnson, whose experience of walking away from years as a Planned Parenthood director after seeing an ultrasound was captured in her memoir-turned-movie, “Unplanned.” Trussell asserted that ALC provides the support women truly need.
“The ALC protects life from conception to natural death. We definitely believe women have a choice, it’s just not abortion: there’s parenting or adoption,” said Trussell. “90.1 percent of women that see their ultrasound will keep their baby. If individuals are exposed to the different choices and options they have, they’re more likely to choose life. I don’t think women, especially young women, hear that enough: this is a gift. I know you’re scared and I know you don’t have all the answers right now but we’re going to walk alongside and help you.”
King’s appearance will occur just months before the anticipated Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling on a watershed case on abortion: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. SCOTUS will determine whether Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks violates the Constitution. A ruling in favor of Mississippi would essentially overturn precedent set by the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide, Roe v. Wade, and upheld by the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic left in Mississippi, argued during the late November hearing that precedent, or “stare decisis,” should be honored first and foremost. The abortion clinic also claimed that the interests of the woman outweighed those of the state; they claimed this was even more true before the unborn child has viability.
SCOTUS will likely hand down a case in May or June.
Trussell explained the significance of a ruling in favor of the Mississippi law: since Arizona only has one law permitting abortion, that being in the event a mother’s life is at stake, a ruling to uphold the law would mean the end of nearly all abortion in Arizona.
“In Arizona, there’s no legal abortion on the books except from a 1901 law. If it goes back to state rights, then abortion is immediately illegal. The only exception in the case is in the mother’s life. And with medical advances today, there’s almost no reason to abort the baby for the life of the mother,” state Trussell.
The pro-life rally will convene to hear an address at 11 am in downtown Phoenix before marching to Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza from 11:30 to 12:30 pm, where there will be another rally with speeches lasting until 2 pm.
Sign-ups for the event and further details remain open as of press time; attendance is free to the public.