Pro-life leaders are paying tribute to Nellie Gray (pictured), the federal government attorney turned pro-life activist who founded and led the annual “March for Life,” which has grown over the past nearly 40 years into the nation's largest one-day pro-life event. “She has been a true heroine of this movement,” said Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council (FRC) and the interim president for the March for Life. “She was an extremely outspoken and eloquent advocate for the most vulnerable members of our culture.”
Gray, 88, was found dead at her home in Washington, D.C. on August 13. The New York Times recalled that Gray, who had been a lawyer in the U.S. Labor Department, “was galvanized by Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to abortion. She retired from her legal career and devoted the rest of her life to overturning that decision.”
Gray explained her motivation for entering the fight for the unborn, saying that “it was such a shock to think that anyone would kill an innocent human being.” The Times noted that Gray felt that legalizing such a barbarous act as abortion “was out of character for a nation that had recently passed civil rights laws and had helped at the Nuremberg trials to convict Nazis of crimes against humanity.” As a Roman Catholic, continued the Times, “Ms. Gray believed that life began at fertilization, and that abortion was murder and not acceptable for any reason: not for rape or incest, for severe abnormalities in the fetus, or to save the woman’s life.”
In 1974, Gray founded the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, and on January 22 of that year, the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade, organized the first March for Life at the nation's Capitol. With the battle cry “No Exception! No compromise!,” Gray and other pro-life leaders and activists who joined her over the years had as their ultimate goal the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Click here to read the entire article.
Photos of "March for Life" and Nellie Gray: AP Images