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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette With her daughter, Ruth, strapped to her chest, Abigail Lorenzen speaks during Sunday's 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn at Catholic Cemetery.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Mitchell Ellisen speaks on how men are affected by the abortion process and his personal experience with the topic Sunday afternoon at the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Becky, an attendee of the 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn, kisses her daughter Evie while listening to speakers tell their stories Sunday afternoon at Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Theodore Maluchnik, 6, left, and his brother Benjamin carry an infant casket Sunday in remembrance of the 301 unborn children from abortions in 2017 at the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne Sunday afternoon.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette The Rev. Tom Shoemaker leads attendees of the 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn in prayer Sunday afternoon at the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Abigail Lorenzen takes to the podium with her daughter, Ruth, to speak on victims of abortion at the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne Sunday afternoon for the 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Abigail Lorenzen releases balloons in honor of unborn children in Allen County Sunday afternoon at the Catholic Cemetery for the 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn.

Monday, October 08, 2018 1:00 am

Unborn memorial mourns 301 fetuses aborted in '17

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

More than 50 people – men, women, children and infants – gathered Sunday under overcast skies at Catholic Cemetery to remember lives not lived.

The 26th annual Memorial for the Unborn honored 301 fetuses aborted in 2017. Their mothers claimed residence in Allen County.

“We want to make certain these little babies aren't forgotten,” said Cathie Humbarger, executive director of Allen County Right to Life.

For 30 minutes Sunday, they weren't.

As in previous years, the memorial included a procession of a child's casket adorned with white roses as men and women named the nameless – Jacob Ethan, Benjamin Noah, Samuel Russell, Claire Lillian, Olivia Noelle and, among others, Hannah Grace.

Abigail Lorenzen of Allen County Right to Life participated in the ceremony with her newborn daughter strapped to her chest. Her voice broke with emotion as she told the crowd they were remembering “children lost to abortion.”

The nearly 4-month-old snuggled beside her gave her a new perspective about women facing crisis pregnancies, Lorenzen said after the memorial service. She noted she experienced terrible morning sickness while pregnant.

“It was horrible, and I wanted the baby,” Lorenzen said.

Mitchell Ellisen told the gathering that women aren't the only people affected by abortion. He recalled how he felt after a woman he impregnated opted to get an abortion.

“I was filled with guilt, shame and condemnation,” Ellisen said. “Men suffer from it just as much as the women do.”

Ellisen represented the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which raises awareness about the devastation abortion brings to women and men.

The hurt doesn't end with the fetus's parents, he said. Consider the extended family, such as grandparents and siblings.

“We are all wounded by abortion,” Ellisen said.

The Rev. Tom Shoemaker of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church shared insights from the nonfiction book “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.”

Sex-selective abortion has resulted in more than 160 million girls missing from Asia's population, Shoemaker said.

“We've got a lot of work to do,” Shoemaker said, and not just in the United States.

asloboda@jg.net