Local residents ready for March for Life

This Sunday, Jan. 21, hundreds of pro-life supporters will gather at World’s Fair Park at 2 p.m. to participate in the annual March for Life, including several from Farragut.

Former Farragut Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche plans to be there, just has she has ever since she and her husband, Lou, moved to Farragut 23 years ago.

“I have been a pro-life person all my life,” she said, crediting her Catholic faith and personal convictions for her position. “I believe abortion is wrong; it is taking the life of another human being — it is murder.

“The only time taking a life is permissible is in the time or war or [in] self-defense.

“Babies are precious and are a gift from God,” she added. “Somebody has to speak up for them.

“It is much better to have a baby and give it up for adoption — there are so many people who want babies but can’t have them.”

That was precisely the LaMarches’ situation when they adopted their middle daughter, Therese. Dot LaMarche had been told by more than one physician she could not have any more children beyond the biological daughter they already had. They turned to the St. Peters’s Home for Children in Memphis, which brought Therese to their family.

“I am so grateful to her mother for giving her life,” LaMarche said of the experience, which she acknowledges made her anti-abortion stance even stronger. “I believe God blessed us when He gave us Therese, and we were able to raise her.”

Farragut resident Jenny Hay, too, has been on the receiving end of adoption, and will be at the march with her entire family. She and her husband, Jack, have six children, five of whom are adopted: Clara, Skyler, Zachary, June and Marybeth.

“Children are people in the womb, and they deserve life,” Jenny Hay said as she explained her commitment to the cause. “We need to defend them. My public statement of that belief is marching in the parades.

“I bring my children,” added Hay, who has participated in the March for Life the last 10 years locally, but has been involved in the Right to Life movement much longer. “They all were adopted from foster care, under really terrible circumstances.

“They could have been targeted for abortions … but I am so grateful that their mothers chose life, and carried them to term, to give them a shot at life.

“I understand the opposing point of view and don’t judge,” Hay continued. “We just want [women] to know there is another way. The fact that abortion is legal forces women into the awful choice they must make [when faced with an unplanned pregnancy].

“I would like to have a society where abortion is not legal, so women would not have such an awful, awful choice, and see there is another path through many different programs.”

“There is plenty of help [available],” said LaMarche, who has volunteered with several pro-life facilities, including Knoxville’s Hope Resource Center.

“I still support Hope every way I can,” she added. “I know through some of the counseling [I was able to do], I was able to save a few babies there.”

LaMarche also continues to serve on Tennessee Right to Life state and local boards, and is also a strong proponent for the elderly.

“If I can help one person or save one life, I’m happy,” she said.

An estimated 60 million babies have reportedly been aborted since the procedure became legal on Jan. 22, 1973. The Marches for Life — on national, state and local levels — are held every year on a date close to its anniversary.

Stacy Dunn, Knox County Tennessee Right to Life executive director, said the Knox County Chapter has commemorated the event in some way every year since 1974.

Sunday’s march will begin with a prayer service at 2 p.m., followed by a short march, said Dunn, who estimates between 400 and 500 attend the March each year.

“The March is a family-friendly event and anyone who believes in the sanctity of human life is welcome to attend,” she said.