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Pro-Life Leaders Pay Tribute to Legacy of Nellie Gray

Nellie GrayPro-lifers around the nation are mourning the loss of Nellie Gray, “the mother of the March for Life,” who was found dead in her home last Monday. She was 88.

"Nellie lived a life of heroic service to the unborn. Nellie will be remembered most for her passionate and ardent protection of every life, without exception,” remarked Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. 

"As we approach the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the sad reality that 54 million babies have been lost to abortion in America, let us pay appropriate homage to Nellie by recommitting ourselves to do everything possible to protect and defend the unborn," Perkins added.

A lawyer by trade, Gray retired from her post with the government after the ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973. Since then, Gray dedicated her career and ultimately her entire life to taking a stand and making a difference for the lives of the unborn.

In 1974, Gray organized the March for Life in Washington, DC, which began with 20,000 marchers and has since grown more than tenfold. Held each year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the March for Life is one of the most widely attended, youthful and peaceful protests in Washington each year.

“It was an anniversary that broke Nellie Gray’s heart every year, and every day,” remarked Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

“Every year since 1974, Nellie Gray has mobilized a diverse and energetic army for life. Her own commitment to the cause never wavered. She was a tireless warrior for the unborn and her motto was ‘no exceptions,’” he added.

On Friday, January 25, 2013, a national pro-life prayer service will be dedicated in the memory of Gray. The service, known as the National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers, is interdenominational, and has taken place for nearly two decades.

The service will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on January 25 in the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. It is open to the public.

More statements on Gray’s passing

Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute: “From the beginning, Nellie has been a prominent leader in the pro-life movement. It is hard to imagine attending the March for Life and not hearing her encouraging words. Nellie never let her advancing years slow her down and was always known for her passion and tenacity on behalf of the nation’s unborn babies. Because of her efforts, there are babies who were given the chance to live. I will miss her greatly.”

Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family: “The story of Miss Gray’s life is a tremendous testimony to the power and significance of a single soul consumed by a magnificent obsession …. Thank you, Lord, for loaning us Nellie Gray. Her soul now joins that chorus, of which is made up of, among countless others, the nearly 50,000,000 children Miss Gray sought to save.”

PHOTO ABOVE: Nellie Gray. Photograph courtesy of March for Life Education and Defense Fund.

Published: August 22, 2012