October 18, 2019

Speakers address ‘what’s at stake’ at Right to Life event

Pro-life advocate Star Parker addresses more than 900 adults and students at Right to Life of Indianapolis’ Celebrate Life Dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 1. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Pro-life advocate Star Parker addresses more than 900 adults and students at Right to Life of Indianapolis’ Celebrate Life Dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 1. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

When Marc Tuttle spoke, his tone reflected his own amazement at this year’s numerous “eye-opening” events on the pro-life front.

These events “highlighted abortion and brought abortion to the public’s conscience,” he said. “They opened people’s eyes to what’s at stake.”

Tuttle, president of Right to Life of Indianapolis (RTLI), then listed the happenings to a crowd of more than 900—including roughly 350 students—gathered for the organization’s annual Celebrate Life Dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 1. (Related: Founders of pro-life club in public school inspired by Right to Life event)

First came the laws. In January, New York—and almost Virginia—passed legislation that “pushed the max” of what the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision allows in terms of abortion.

“Luckily, or rather, providentially,” Tuttle said, the Unplanned movie was released a few weeks later. It told the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood facility director-turned pro-life advocate. The movie “opened people’s eyes to what the abortion industry is about, how they work, how they operate,” he said.

Then in September came “perhaps the most disturbing news of all,” said Tuttle: the discovery in Illinois of 2,246 aborted fetal remains—“preserved, stacked one on top of the other, and stored in more than 70 boxes”—in the garage of late abortion doctor Ulrich “George” Klopfer. The remains were all from the three abortion centers he operated in northern Indiana.

“If that doesn’t open people’s eyes to how demonic the abortion industry is, I don’t know what will,” he said.

The annual banquet serves as a fundraiser for RTLI. It included a keynote address by Star Parker, whose story of abortion, living on welfare, and conversion to a new life of speaking out against both is featured below.

But first Tuttle presented two awards and shared with the crowd about the many ways RTLI uses donations to “help make abortion unthinkable” in the Indianapolis area.

‘Literally talking to the future’

While the New York legislation and the discovery of the fetal remains were tragic, Tuttle noted some hope-instilling figures.

“In the mid-1980s, the number of abortions in Indiana was about 16,000,” he said. “We’ve cut that [number] in half,” with the Indiana State Department of Health recording 8,037 abortions in Indiana in 2018. “And we’re looking for those stats to decrease again this year,” he added.

He also shared about Right to Life of Indianapolis’ efforts to educate the public, including providing volunteer-staffed booths at county fairs, the state fair and the Black Expo; presenting to church congregations and Christian groups; offering art, essay and public speaking contests for students; and speaking in schools.

“When you go to school and speak to a group of students, you’re literally talking to the future: the future doctors, the future lawyers, the future journalists, the future politicians,” Tuttle emphasized. “All of them are going to make a crucial difference on this issue in the future.”

Such programs couldn’t exist without volunteers, he noted. He then presented two such helpers, Kim Dickman and Kathy Laudick, with RTLI’s award for outstanding service for their combined 22 years of volunteering.

And for helping more than 200 post-abortive women for 20 years with her Healing Hidden Hurts ministry in Indianapolis, Debbie Miller received RTLI’s Respect for Life Award.

It is a ministry the event’s keynote speaker could relate to.

‘Abortion destroys everything it touches’

Parker was quick to tell the crowd of her imperfect past. From her teen years, she was caught up in a life of “sex, drugs, even shoplifting,” she said.

Along the way, she had several abortions in what she sarcastically called “safe, legal and rare” facilities, mocking the industry’s claims.

“[Abortion] may be legal, but it’s not lawful in the eyes of God,” Parker noted. “Abortion destroys everything it touches.”

She explained this statement by turning back time to the creation of humanity.

“There’s a reason God made women with a biological clock,” she said. “And we try to control it in all kinds of ways, including abortion.”

Because of this effort to control fertility, marriage has collapsed, said Parker.

She cited statistics found in a 2013 United States Census Bureau (USCB) survey on America’s families and living arrangements. In 1970, married adults made up 70.3 percent of the adult population. By 2012, that number had dropped to 48.7 percent.

“For blacks it’s a total collapse,” Parker added. Currently, just 29 percent of African-American adults are married, according to a 2016 USCB report.

Because of the plummeting marriage rate, “We have a crisis now … with implications far and wide,” said Parker, including a skyrocket increase in children born out of wedlock.

“Without marriage, [men] are promiscuous,” she said. “And promiscuous men are producing unproductive men.

“And unproductive men are dangerous men: 70 percent of those young boys in our criminal justice system come from single, unmarried households. And 95 percent of those men … have no relationship with their father.”

Throughout this cycle, Parker noted a trend: a link between abortion and poverty.

‘A poverty plantation’

Parker, 62, grew up with no religion. She said when God finally “found” her, she was unmarried, raising a child and had been on welfare for seven years.

“The rules of welfare don’t work,” she stressed, listing them as “don’t save, don’t get married, and we’ll come and keep you enslaved to a poverty plantation.”

She said it was after her conversion to Chrirstianity that she found the courage to free herself from such “slavery.” That courage came from the Bible.

“My pastor told me, ‘The government is not your source [for help]. God is,’ ” she recalled. Then he pointed her to Philippians 4:19—“And my God will supply your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Parker left the welfare system. Eventually, she earned a degree in marketing and international business.

In 1995, she created the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a Washington-based institute focused on fighting poverty and restoring dignity to the poor. She continues to lead it 24 years later.

But in that time, she’s accomplished much and is still involved with much more. She serves on a White House advisory team looking at solutions to poverty; is a regular commentator on such national television and radio networks as BBC, EWTN, and FOX News; is a nationally syndicated columnist; has written five books; and speaks across the country on poverty and pro-life issues.

Parker said she is driven to end abortion because one day her grandchildren “are going to look at the history books—and so will your children and grandchildren. And they are going to see [abortion]. And they’re going to ask us, ‘What happened? What were you thinking?’ And then they’re going to say, ‘What did you do?’

“And I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘I tried to do everything I could to stop it.’ ”

(For more information on or to donate to Right to Life of Indianapolis, go to rtliindy.org, or call 317-582-1526.)

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