As Conservatives Gather in Washington, Pro-Life Values Rise to Forefront, by Josh Shepherd

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On October 11, 2019, Family Research Council Action president Tony Perkins moderates a panel of abortion survivors including (R-L) Claire Culwell, Josiah Presley, and Melissa Ohden. They spoke to an audience of more than 1,900 people at Values Voter Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C., Josh Shepherd / The Stream

By Josh Shepherd, The Stream, October 13, 2019

Josh Shepherd“Love is to speak the truth that people don’t want to hear,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action, while interviewing a panel of abortion survivors.

His statement came late on the first day of the 14th annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. A gathering of Christian conservative activists broadcast online and on C-SPAN, the conference welcomed President Donald Trump as the keynote address on its second day.

To kick-off the weekend-long summit, leaders including Congressman Roger Marshall, R-Kan., State Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-La., talk show host Dennis Prager, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar spoke on current policy issues. Their speeches invariably addressed pro-life issues.

Notably, Melissa Ohden of the Abortion Survivors Network joined Josiah Presley and Claire Culwell on-stage. Each shared their stories of being born after unsuccessful abortion procedures.

“Our purpose is to educate the public that abortions fail and children can live,” said Ohden in an interview. “We give people a glimpse into what our humanity looks like. At the same time, our group ensures that survivors are connected. Most of them feel terribly alone.”

That discussion left hardly a dry eye among more than 1,900 attendees gathered. Event emcee Gil Mertz called it “a standout panel of not just this Values Voter Summit, but of all past summits we’ve done.” ….

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