LIHUE — As Tootsie Sanchez held a sign that read “Cherish Life,” she waved at passing cars Wednesday afternoon. Joined by about 30 others who stood on the sidewalk along Kaumualii Highway, the Princeville woman had a message she wanted to share.
“We believe that only God can make life, and only God can take life. There is no convenient time to be born, and there’s no convenient time to die,” she said. “We have to remember how difficult it is for the young and old now. We must stand up for them and pray for them, love them and help each other.”
On the 41st anniversary of Roe versus Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, a pro-life group rallied not to protest the law, but to celebrate life, said Deacon Kin Borja, president of Aloha Life Advocates.
“People don’t understand what we’re doing. We’re not here to judge people,” he said. “We’re here to spread the love that Jesus gave us.”
Under sunny skies, members of the gathering held signs that read, “Life is beautiful,” “Respect life from the womb to the tomb,” and “She is a child, not a choice.” Most smiled and waved to passing cars. Some sat quietly, heads bowed in prayer. A few drivers honked in support, usually eliciting more waves and thank yous.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, there have been about 57 million abortions in the United States since the landmark decision on Jan. 22, 1973.
And for Sofia Castro, it must stop.
“We’ve got to save all the babies,” she said. “There’s so much killing of the babies.”
Sister Anna Nguyen, visiting Kauai from Argentina, said she joined the rally because she wanted to stand with “brothers and sisters of this country to say yes to life.”
“The smallest, they need us. Life, we should receive it with gladness and hope and trust that God will provide,” she said.
Father Enrique Lapuebla Jr. of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Kekaha said it’s important to take a stand for your beliefs.
“Let the people know that killing babies is against God’s law,” he said. “We need to cherish life, protect life, especially the unborn.”
Event organizer Lillian Lucas said she has faith that abortions will eventually stop. Until then, the retired nurse will continue to pray and protest.
“Shame on us. We’re a powerful country and we’re attacking the very, very innocent in the womb,” she said. “It started with us and it mushroomed through the world. It’s got to stop.”
She said the pro-life group that gathered Wednesday, while small, can change the U.S. acceptance of abortion. It takes faith and persistence.
“God never had big armies fight his battles,” she said.
Borja said he and his wife adopted their oldest daughter, who was going to be aborted before the mother changed her mind. He hopes other women will do the same.
He said there are options for women who are pregnant but have don’t want to raise a child.
“We can help you get that baby adopted,” he said.