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Rallying for life

    BATON ROUGE, La. – In advance of the national Right to Life March in Washington, D.C., 2,500 pro-life advocates marched to the State Capitol Jan. 18 to decry the proposed construction of a regional Planned Parenthood abortion facility in New Orleans and to promote the life-giving option of adoption.
    The message of adoption is part and parcel of the pro-life cause,” said Ben Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, which sponsors the annual rally. “A state that has a thriving adoption ministry is a state that is moving closer to a pro-life future.”
    Clapper said recent studies show that Planned Parenthood, which plans to build a multimillion-dollar abortion clinic on South Claiborne Avenue and construct another facility in Baton Rouge, performs 149 abortions for every one referral it makes for adoption.
    The reason is simple, Clapper said. Money.
    “With every abortion (costing) about $450, we know that the abortion industry is making money off abortion, whereas the adoption industry is not lucrative,” Clapper said.
    Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in the U.S., the number of adoptions in the country has dropped from about 175,000 a year to 125,000, Clapper said, and there are about 36 couples waiting to adopt for each child that is placed for adoption.
    “This year, if Planned Parenthood decided to switch and advocate strongly and counsel their clients for adoption, we could see those numbers dramatically change,” Clapper said.
Youthful exuberance
    Archbishop Gregory Aymond participated in the march and offered the opening prayer from the Capitol steps. He said there is great momentum in the pro-life movement because of the large number of teenagers and young adults who fervently support the cause.
    “I’m so proud to be from Louisiana, because, as you know, we are the most pro-life state in the United States,” the archbishop said. “We’re also proud to be from Louisiana because we have more than 1,500 young people – high school students – who are on their way to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life.”
    The pro-life audience heard poignant testimonies from a mother, Bobbie Jones, and her daughter, Sarah Jones Zagorski, who spoke about the far-reaching effects of an abortion decision.
    Jones was a kindergarten teacher in the 1970s when she became pregnant and was convinced by her boyfriend, who would not marry her, to have an abortion.
    Later, after she married, she and her husband took 1-year-old Sarah into their home as foster parents. Sarah was born into a family of seven children, and her biological mother, who suffered from schizophrenic bipolar disorder, went to an abortionist because she could not bear the thought of having another child.
Miracle of birth
    “He delivered me at 6 1/2 months – breach – and when I was born I was not breathing,” Zagorski said. “He then told (the mother) that she should let me die, that I would amount to nothing more than a mental vegetable, that I wouldn’t have a normal life. For those few minutes, he held my life in his hands. But in that moment, something in her said no.”
    Zagorski, who is communications director for Louisiana Right to Life, said she was born into a dysfunctional family of abuse, neglect and starvation, and she was given a chance at a new life when she was placed in foster care with the Jones family. Still, it took eight years for the state to terminate her birth mother’s parental rights.
so that she could be adopted.
    “I knew in my heart that they were my family,” Zagorski said. “It was an eight-year ordeal. I believe if I wasn’t adopted, I would have lost my life to who knows what. Maybe it would have been to abuse or neglect, or maybe I would have died inside. Maybe I would have become a drug addict or something worse.
    “The grace of adoption gave me hope and a future. I beg you to please stand for those who have no voice.”
    Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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