Iowans For LIFE will be hosting their ninth annual fundraiser Oct. 3 at Prairie Meadows. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Gloria Purvis is the keynote speaker. Purvis is the creator and host of the EWTN series, Authentically Free at Last, which deals with the modern challenges to the expression and understanding of authentic human freedom.
Purvis also hosts Morning Glory on EWTN Global Catholic Radio.
The program’s title is “Racism, Abortion and Medical Care.”
“We selected her for a variety of reasons,” said Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for LIFE. “Over the last nine years we’ve really tried to look at what issues need to be brought to the forefront. Not only is it a fundraiser, but we also use this as an educational tool because Iowans for LIFE’s mandate is to educate Iowans on the sanctity of human life from fertilization until natural death.
“One of the issues that continues to come to the forefront and really resonates with people is the disproportionate amount of abortions that are occurring within the African American community and how the abortion industry, particularly Planned Parenthood, is targeting the minority community in such a way that the percentage of their population is at least 12 percent of the entire population but they make up over 40 percent of the abortions in our country.”
DeWitte said the group watched some of Gloria’s videos on YouTube.
“She was just witty and spunky and didn’t pull any punches,” DeWitte said. “We all appreciated that. We want somebody who is going to get up there and speak the truth and do it in a way that resonates with people. We felt like she fit the bill for the issues and the advocacy we were thinking needed to be highlighted.”
The Iowa Standard was able to speak with Purvis last week about the upcoming fundraiser. She said she had a “mystical experience” in 1997.
“It was not one where you walk away cheery and happy,” Purvis said. “It was a very serious one. It was one that really struck the fear of God into me frankly.”
Purvis said she’s always been pro-life, but this experience put a lightning bolt into her to move on things.
She wants pro-lifers to understand they need to be active on the front end when a woman discovers she’s pregnant as well as continuing to walk with her throughout her pregnancy.
“I have discovered there’s a heavy emphasis on abortion for a child who might not be perfect,” she said. “The response to my pregnancy was not one from the medical profession that was joyful and supportive, I’ll put it like that.”
Purvis said her experience wasn’t much different than that of her friends.
“Most of my African American female friends that have been pregnant have been counseled to abort,” she said. “All with the idea that their children will have a defect. It has been not true for any of them, except one. For that woman, even though she told them she wanted to keep the child, they continually pressured her.”
Purvis said a nurse at the practice came up to her and told her to keep the baby because a 50-something-year old white woman was pregnant and “they bent over backwards to make sure she got everything she needed to have her baby.”
“We just think it’s the ethos in the medical profession,” Purvis said. “It’s just something that they seem to be particular about with black women.”
Purvis said the response to the 50-something-year old white woman was one of encouragement.
“That wasn’t the case with me,” Purvis said. “The thing that was so shocking about it is that it was like ‘this is the responsible thing to do — abort,'” she said. “To have that kind of pressure, I just did not expect that. I was a bit naive I guess. I absolutely did not expect that kind of response at all.
“Even though people were pro-choice, I didn’t expect a doctor to be like ‘I’m gonna make a choice for you.’ So much for respecting a woman’s choice. The crazy kind of pressure to abortion was just not what I expected.”
Purvis plans to go into more detail about the experience, but finished with this:
“Being pregnant, at the time it was like running the gauntlet to get to delivery,” she said. “Just the continual suggestion if not outright statement that termination should be considered was just crazy to me.
“I thought, ‘what do women do who have even one thing less than I do? Nobody with them.’ I still think about it and I shake my head. I believe my doctor was a good doctor. It’s just very unfortunate that they are programmed into thinking that the only solution is abortion.”
The RSVP deadline for the event is Sept. 26. Typically 600-800 people attend the event. The silent auction has started for some items at Iowans for LIFE website. This is the group’s only fundraiser of the year.