FORT WAYNE – Angela Minter was a college freshman when she found out she was pregnant.
She and her longtime boyfriend didnt discuss options. They knew what they planned to do. Theyd done it twice before. Theyd get an abortion.
But before the young couple could get to a clinic, her father found out.
He told me, Dont kill your baby. I needed to hear that from my daddy, Minter said Saturday during an anti-abortion rally downtown at the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center, formerly the Scottish Rite Center.
The 40th annual March for Life began with a noon rally that lasted more than an hour and ended with a march in the bitter cold to the E. Ross Adair Federal Building, about half a mile away. The event was scheduled to be close to the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courts Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.
Fort Wayne Police Department officials estimated the crowd at 1,300.
Cathie Humbarger, executive director of Allen County Right to Life, coordinated the event and spoke to the audience seated in the auditorium.
Over 30,000 little babies have been killed by abortionists here in Allen County since the 1973 court decision, she said.
Tammy Lieber, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, did not attend the event. But she provided the following statement.
Abortion is safe and legal, and polls consistently show a majority of Americans believe it should continue to be so, she wrote in an email. At Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, we are committed to the need for continued access to safe and legal abortion if and when a woman needs to consider it.
Minter, the rallys keynote speaker, is executive director of Sisters for Life, a Kentucky nonprofit. She ministers to pregnant women in Louisville, urging them not to have abortions.
Twenty-two years after Minters first abortion at age 17, she attended an anti-abortion rally with the sole intention of supporting her pastor.
During the event, Minter heard Gods voice telling her she needed to ask forgiveness for having two abortions. In that moment, she was overwhelmed with grief, she said.
We paid money to have our first baby killed, Minter said of herself and the man who went on to become her husband. Who does that? I paid money? Thats what I actually did? I thought I was paying just not to be pregnant anymore.
With support from her pastor, Minter went on to talk publicly about her regret and devote her life to the pro-life movement.
Minter and her husband married one month before their first of three children, a daughter, was born. Erin, the child Minters father urged her to keep, is now 28.
Unplanned pregnancy has been a recurring theme in Minters family story.
Her son came to her with plans to procure an abortion for a young woman hed been with. Minter and her husband responded with prayer. The young woman, who has since started dating Minters son, decided to keep the baby.
Even Minters father, whom she described as a liberal state legislator, confessed an abortion-related secret to her in recent years.
Years ago, hed taken her mother to Detroit for an abortion. The procedure was performed but it didnt work.
If it had, Minter wouldnt have been in Fort Wayne on Saturday.
She wouldnt be alive.