Click here to see video of Dr. Alveda King
Years before Martin Luther King Jr. shared his vision of a color-blind America, his father, "Daddy King,” told of a dream that persuaded a young woman not to abort her baby.
Alveda King, niece of the slain civil rights leader and keynote speaker for Rose Day at the state Capitol, said Wednesday she was the child whose life was saved.
"He fought for my life in 1950, and I am here before you standing for life,” King said. "That was very prophetic.”
King, who had two abortions herself, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of Oklahoma faithful attending the annual Rose Day Rally at the state Capitol. Members of the Oklahoma faith community visit the state Capitol each year to show legislators their support for sanctity-of-life legislation. They traditionally present legislators with roses as symbols of the unborn.
Heidi Wilburn with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma served as head of the interdenominational Rose Day committee. She said more than 800 people registered for the rally and more than 1,000 were estimated to have participated in the effort.
King, 59, told the crowd she had two abortions, but now shares her testimony and devotes much of her time to anti-abortion advocacy. She is a pastoral associate and director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and a speaker for the Silent No More campaign which shares information about the negative impact of abortion.
She told the crowd she had an abortion before it became legal to do so and another abortion after it was legalized.
"I was very misinformed. If I had been informed, I would not have made certain decisions,” she said.
She said an ultrasound stopped her from having an abortion during a third pregnancy. King said a doctor told her she was not carrying a baby but a "blob of tissue.” She said the baby’s father was a medical student and he told her, "They’re lying to you.”
King said she decided to have the child, a son who is married and in law school.
She said the King family is a family of visionaries and she told the story of how the King patriarch "Daddy King” helped her mother decide against aborting her.
King said her mother Naomi Barber King had been accepted into a college that would not allow pregnant women, married or unmarried. She said her mother did not feel that she was ready to have a child and considered abortion. King said her grandmother took her mother to see Martin Luther King Sr., who was their family pastor. Alveda King said he told her mother that he had had a dream three years earlier about her unborn child, his granddaughter, and persuaded her to have the child with his son, her then-fiance A.D. King. Alveda King said her parents married before she was born.
She applauded the work of Oklahoma’s anti-abortion advocates and likened their efforts to an evolved civil rights movement.
"We are working together for one human race - one beloved community,” King said.
The Rev. Anthony Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, said Rose Day supporters were honored to have King as guest speaker.
"She was a wonderful picture for all of us as someone who knows the hurt of abortion and the answer to abortion,” Jordan said.