Nellie Gray, who in 1974 helped start the annual antiabortion demonstration in Washington called March for Life that attracts thousands to the nation’s capital, has died. She was 88.
According to The Washington Post, “Gene Ruane, a colleague, said that he found Miss Gray dead Monday in her Capitol Hill home and that the chief medical examiner will determine the cause and date of her death.”
National Review’s The Corner blog writes that:
“The March for Life is Nellie Gray’s main legacy. Many pro-lifers sometimes seem to take the annual March for granted, but the longevity of the March is actually a remarkable achievement. Some 39 years ago, pro-life activists felt a need to properly commemorate the first anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision. That is when the idea for the March for Life was born. Interestingly, there was no plan to repeat the first March, but when deciding what to do with the leftover funds, someone suggested hosting a March the next year. Before long, the March for Life was incorporated with Nellie Gray as president and became an annual tradition.
“Since then, the March has been a key contribution to the pro-life cause.”
The Associated Press says “Gray was a lawyer and former federal employee who devoted herself full-time to the anti-abortion movement after the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. … [She] was the primary organizer of the march throughout its 38-year history. She used the phrase ‘no exceptions, no compromise’ to sum up her belief that life begins at conception and abortion should be illegal. At this year’s march, she referred to abortion as genocide and the Roe v. Wade decision as ‘an evil imposed upon our country.’ “
The next March for Life is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2013.