Newsflash Archives >Top Ten People of 2007 - #8 Dr. Alveda King
Top Ten People of 2007 - #8
Inside the Vatican has again chosen 10 men and women as its "Top Ten People of the Year." Profiles of each of the 10 will be published in the upcoming January issue of Inside the Vatican. Meanwhile, we will publish the profiles day by day in these email newsflashes, and on our Web site.
#1 - Francis Beckwith
#2 - Immacolata Solaro del Borgo
#3 - Sir Martin Gilbert
#4 - Brian Boyle
#5 - Fr. Bernardo Cervellera
#6 - Aung San Suu Kyi
#7 - Fr. Ragheed Ganni
#8 - DR. ALVEDA KING
By Alberto Carosa
One of the stunning victories of the pro-life movement is its ability to win over the hearts, minds and souls of prominent people who become champions of the its cause. For example, in late December, in an interview with the Vatican Internet daily Petrus, a famous Italian pop musician disclosed that he was a devout believer and thoroughly opposed to abortion, since as a Catholic he is convinced that life begins from the moment of conception.
But while it’s a bit premature to assess whether his words will be matched by a concrete commitment to the pro-life cause, the case of the American Dr. Alveda King is different: she has been a pro-life activist for many years now. And she does not mince words in her passionate defense of the unborn.
She is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the daughter of slain civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and his wife Naomi Barber King. During the years of the Civil Rights Movement, her family home in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, so in a sense she is a living rebuttal of the thesis that abortion should be allowed as a "civil right" like any other.
In early 2007, she joined Father Frank Pavone for the annual national March for Life in Washington on January 22nd, 2007. Father Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, a Catholic association operating within the structure of the Catholic Church, announced then that Dr. King had become a member of his organization’s full-time staff. "After we fought for equal rights for our people," she argued, "we must now fight for equal rights for the children in the mother’s womb."
She then marched side-by-side with Father Pavone, who asked her whether the annual national march in Washington somehow was reminiscent of those promoted by her uncle for civil rights. "Father Pavone, this is a march for civil rights," she replied. "This is the movement for civil rights of our times." Referring to her famous uncle’s words "I have a dream," she asked: "How can such a dream live on, the dream of equality for all founded on intrinsic human dignity, if we kill our children?" She calls the denial of the right to life "the greatest injustice we face."
As a matter of fact, she said, "without the right to life, no other rights exist," and added: "What would Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of having his children judged by the content of their characters, do if he’d lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists’ pits?" In fact, "if the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to live, our babies must live. Our mothers must choose life."
Paraphrasing ancient Rome’s Latin dictum "nomen omen," namely "your destiny in your name," a similar pattern could be applied to her, "your destiny in your date," since January 22 is not only her birthday, but also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the (in)famous sentence which opened the floodgates of abortion in the US in 1973.
"The Roe v. Wade decision has adversely affected the lives of my entire family," she says.
It’s always painful for her to recall her life in the early 1970s, when she suffered one involuntary and one voluntary abortion.
Her involuntary abortion was performed just prior to Roe v. Wade by her private physician without her consent.
Soon after the Roe v. Wade decision, she became pregnant again.
There was adverse pressure and threat of violence from the baby’s father. "The ease and convenience provided through Roe v. Wade made it too easy for me to make the fateful and fatal decision to abort our child," she recalled. Right after the abortion, she started to feel very ill, but the doctor and nurses assured her that "it will all go away in a few days. You will be fine." They lied.
Over the next few years, she experienced medical problems and trouble bonding with her children, who all suffered from knowing that they have a brother or sister that was aborted by their mother. Also, her mother and grandparents were very sad to know about the loss of the baby. The aborted child’s father also regretted the abortion. "If it had not been for Roe v. Wade, I would never have had that abortion," she remarked. "This is very painful for all of us." This proves once again the crucial role played by bad legislation; far from making no difference, it acts as a catalyst for evil.
"I pray often for deliverance from the pain caused by my decision to abort my baby," she said. "I suffered the threat of cervical and breast cancer, and experienced the pain of empty arms after the baby was gone. And truly, for me and countless abortive mothers, nothing on earth can fully restore what has been lost -- only Jesus can.
"I can only beseech the powers that be to hearken to the voice of the Lord and remember that human life is sacred. By taking the lives of our young and wounding the wombs and lives of their mothers, we are flying in the face of God. We cannot play God. If we continue down this path of destruction, we will be met at the gates by our own doom. This is the day to choose life. We must live and allow our babies to live.
"I too, like Martin Luther King, Jr., have a dream. I have a dream that the men and women, the boys and girls of America will come to our senses, and humble ourselves before God Almighty and pray for mercy, and receive His healing grace. I pray that this is the day, the hour of our deliverance. May God have mercy on us all."
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Inside The Vatican (ISSN 1068-8579) is a Catholic news magazine, published monthly except July
and September, with occasional special supplements.