ACME -- Anti-abortion speakers urged pro-life supporters to stand up against the "holocaust" of abortion at a Grand Traverse Area Right to Life event.
Monday's Focus on Life dinner was the 22nd annual benefit and featured activist, blogger and speaker Jill Stanek.
"This is our holocaust. This is our civil war," Stanek told the crowd of hundreds at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.
The audience ranged from students to the elderly, pregnant women to a woman pushing a baby stroller and several who clutched umbrellas as they made their way inside on a rainy and windy evening. Stanek encouraged the group by saying that more people are joining the cause but stressed that those who work to stop abortion cannot rely on legislators or the media.
Stanek described her background as a registered nurse at an Illinois hospital and recounted allegations about abortion practices there, which she felt compelled to speak out against. Those who decry abortion cannot be effective witnesses if they fear talking or being labeled as extremists, she said. Stanek, in a speech that referenced Bible verses, drew strength from her faith.
"I'm on the winning side," she said to applause.
Other speakers, too, urged action. Brian Cusack, of Right to Life of Michigan, listed ways in which people can participate in the cause, from prayer to financial support to voting for candidates who oppose abortion to involvement in the current debate over health care reform.
"We need to make abortion unthinkable once more," Cusack said.
Josh Kurtz, president of Grand Traverse Area Students for Life, offered another way for young people in the area to get involved. Calling on the youth as the "future generation" of doctors and scientists, he said the group is trying to start "pro-life clubs" at local schools.