DANVILLE — The inaugural Hendricks County Right to Life dinner was held Thursday at the Hendricks County 4-H Conference Center.
Indiana Right to Life is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the Sanctity of Life. Their mission statement reads: “We seek to educate the public on the issues of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia and to move our culture back to a respect for life. We primarily serve Indiana but have increasingly engaged in projects that are having a national and international impact, such as our series of television forums dealing with such timely issues as chemical abortifacients and the growing evidence of a link between abortion and breast cancer.”
Thursday was the first time the event was held in Hendricks County. The evening included speakers such as U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita; Peter Heck, former host of the Peter Heck Radio Show; Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life of Indianapolis; Cheri Keaggy, special musical guest; and keynote speaker Greg Garrison, host of the Greg Garrison show heard weekdays on WIBC in Indianapolis.
Rokita discussed the courage that he says all people need to step up and protect the right to life.
“We need courage, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it’s impossible to fight for the other two if you don’t have the first,” he said. “Participation in this movement against abortion is growing, everyone just needs to step out of their comfort zone to help do something about it.”
Fichter says challenges are ahead to help fight this issue, but he’s seeing dramatic progress.
“For the first time, Indiana requires a mandated informed consent brochure that provides full colored photographs of unborn children in various stages of development that must be given to every woman 18 hours prior to having an abortion,” he said. “We think this will help lower the abortion rates in Indiana.”
The law Fichter spoke of was the pro-life bill that Gov. Mike Pence signed into law on May 1. He signed Senate Bill 371, a bill that toughens regulations for chemical abortion businesses while dramatically improving Indiana’s informed consent provisions.
Fichter says the number of abortions has been cut in half over the last five years, but 62 percent of the abortions that happen in the state are performed in Marion County.
“That equates to 5,418 children who lose their lives,” he said. “The majority of those abortions happen at the Planned Parenthood Mega Center on 86th (Street) and Georgetown (Road). We’ve estimated they do 3,500 to 4,000 abortions every year.”
Fichter announced that Indiana Right to Life is partnering with a women’s care center that will be built adjacent to the Planned Parenthood Center.
“We are partnering with them in building this center directly across from the largest abortion center in the state,” he said. “We want to better reach those women with positive alternatives to abortion.”
Indiana Right to Life’s outreaches include LifeFest, a teen outreach designed to challenge teens to respect life, and innovative approaches to educate voters as to where candidates for public office stand on life issues. Other outreaches include free E-Mail Lifeline update service, Lifeline Report state newsletter, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday promotion (January), Teens for Life publication, Teens for Life website, LifeFest youth events, and radio and television ads to promote crisis pregnancy assistance.
Indiana Right to Life is represented by county-level affiliates around the state. The group is funded by donations from individuals and private foundations.
For more information, visit the website at http://www.irtl.org/.