GREENVILLE—Alveda King pulled few punches and used candid illustrations from her own life as she talked about abortion and birth control to a group of around 200 who gathered early Nov. 19 for a pro-life day of reflection at St. Mary Church.
It was part of the the 40 Days for Life campaign, a worldwide pro-life outreach effort begun in 2007.
King, the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is the pastoral associate and director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. She is also described as a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
Her message to young people Saturday was simple and direct.
“You all get married, serve the Lord, get ready to be responsible parents,” she urged. “If you are going through things with your family, don’t give up, pray.”
In talking about her own life, King said she was a “wild, heathen woman” until she gave herself to Jesus. She said she that prior to being saved, she had undergone two abortions and had used contraception to prevent pregnancies.
King, who said Planned Parenthood had wooed her in the organization’s formative days in the 1960s, began to question the pro-choice position, and also to look at it from the perspective of her uncle’s teachings.
“‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” she quoted. “He had said, ‘The Negro cannot win, if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for his immediate personal comfort and safety.’
“So here I am, faced with some serious issues,” she said. “I am beginning to see these little babies have civil rights. So, in 1983, I gave my life to the Lord, and I said, a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body. The baby’s not her body. How can the dream survive if we murder the children?”
King noted that, in the decades since Roe vs. Wade, people have continued to struggle with abortion, even in her own family. She said that in 2010, three of her nine grandchildren had wanted abortions.
“Whether the law says they could have or couldn’t, it’s really true: Until we change the hearts of the people, the law is not going to make people do right. It helps people do right, because it deters some things.”
The program was sponsored by St. Mary Church’s Culture of Life Team and Our Lady of the Rosary Church’s Respect Life Committee. Other speakers were: Father Dwight Longenecker, pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Greenville and chaplain at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, and Franciscan Father Paul Williams, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Anderson.