Pro-life leaders find reason
for hope in 2017
Rev. Walter Hoye
At noon Jan. 20, just hours after the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Rev. Walter Hoye will stand at a microphone in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza to open his annual Issues4Life Rally.
Rev. Hoye’s rally is probably the only one led by a black American during January, near the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
For the first time in the 10 years Rev. Hoye has been leading this rally, he sees hope.
“The election has given us an enormous amount of hope for the country,” Rev. Hoye said. “We’ve always believed America was a Christian nation deep down and held onto biblical values.
“After eight years of the Obama administration’s vision for America, the people have spoken up.”
How fast — or even whether — the new administration works to alter the landscape of abortion remains unknown.
But in many regards, it is still up to the people, Rev. Hoye said.
Although he said he has been pleased with the potential nominees for Cabinet positions — particularly Dr. Ben Carson, who is expected to be nominated as Secretary for Housing and Urban Development — this is not the time for pro-life leaders to drop their vigilance.
When it comes to President-elect Trump, Rev. Hoye said, “As I would say with any president, hold his feet to the fire.”
Of Trump, Rev. Hoye said, “He’s genuine. He’s doing what he said he’d do.”
But the pro-life movement will need to keep its voice heard.
“There’s work to be done,” Rev. Hoye said. “Obama will work his vision of America to the every end,” he said. “We need to be working every day from now on to get things done every day we have.”
The first priority, Rev. Hoye said, is to “make sure we nail down the Supreme Court position.”
“I just want to be sure the Supreme Court (vacancy) is decided quickly,” said Rev. Hoye. “We have both sides of Congress, we have the presidency. We can’t waste time.”
Next, he said, “Investigate Planned Parenthood.”
“I want to see a real effort to defund Planned Parenthood,” he said, “not just on selling baby body parts, but other crimes, such as abortions on minors and not reporting rape.”
Also important he said, is to “stop the taxpayer funding” of Planned Parenthood.
Rev. Hoye is looking forward to the Oakland rally. “We do this in a community of color,” he said. “I have a unique relationship with Oakland; it’s adversarial, but it’s unique.”
He will be meeting with the Oakland Police Department in advance of the rally, which was disrupted by protesters two years ago.
“They hit us hard, with the cooperation of the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland City Council,” Rev. Hoye said. An investigation was conducted.
“Since then, we’ve been able to build a much better relationship with the Oakland Police Department,” Rev. Hoye said.
“I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to walk,” he said. A short walk through the downtown area usually follows the rally.
Rev. Hoye said the rally has drawn “great speakers,” both nation and local. “I want to hit home a little harder,” he said.
Rev. Antoine Miller of Rehoboth Christian Fellowship in Alameda will speak, as will Rev. Clenard Childress of New Jersey, founder of blackgenoicide.org. Rev. Childress is “a blessing for us every year,” said Rev. Hoye.
Author Rochelle Petersen will speak. Also on the program are Pastors Bruce Rivers and Walter Moss, two longtime allies of Rev. Hoye.
“I hope everyone can take a lunch break and come,” Rev. Hoye said.
Reggie Littlejohn, whose work on human rights in China seeks to end forced and gender-specific abortion, will speak at the Conversations4Life dinner that evening in Walnut Creek.
Advance tickets are recommended for the dinner, which is often a sell-out.