Around 100 protesters—both pro-life and pro-choice—rallied Tuesday evening in Kettering, at the Dayton Right to Life march, an event billed as “a stand in solidarity with those attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C.” later this week.
The rally started with a prayer outside the Women’s Med Center of Dayton—the area’s only abortion clinic. Several politicians were in attendance, including Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, and Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miami Twp.
Husted, the event’s keynote speaker, told the the crowd that he was adopted and that it’s one of the reasons for his appearance and Right to Life position.
“I try to use my story as a way to encourage more adoptions, which is a pathway to fewer abortions,” said Husted. “I also wanted to bring a message of how we need to reach out with a compassionate, loving and caring heart, and to support women who find themselves in these difficult situations.”
While Husted and others spoke surrounded by supporters of the Right to Life movement, at least two dozen others stood in direct opposition holding pro-choice and anti-President Donald Trump signs while chanting.
Andrew Cheadle of Kettering held a sign that read “We Will Resist,” a notion he says stems from the concern he has about the direction the country is heading.
“The rollback of rights for LGBT people, women and minorities…we want to resist that no matter what it takes,” said Cheadle. “I think it’s pretty clear what direction both the United States and the world wants to see us head in, and that’s defending women’s rights.”
Ron Yakkel of Xenia held a sign that read “Defend Life.” Yakkel, said it is important to listen to both sides of the issue, but that his stance as a pro-life believer boils down to the “fetus inside the mother”.
“They (women) have to take into consideration the body of the child that’s inside of them as well. If we let them live and come out to their full existence, they could be a future President of the United States,” Yakkel said.