BOSTON -- Standing in the grass at Boston Common, close enough to the iconic Parkman Bandstand to hear the pro-life speakers address the crowd, but far enough away to use the shade of a tree to escape the summer heat, Kathyrn Melnight, 18, described how she was almost aborted.
Speaking to The Pilot during the 2018 Massachusetts March for Life, held in the Boston Common on Father's Day, June 17, and sponsored by Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Melnight said she's one of quadruplets, only, she almost wasn't.
When her mom was pregnant, she said, doctors informed her that it would be unsafe to carry all four children to term. Noting the possibility of death, they advised her to abort two of her children. She refused.
"They said my mom would die if she didn't, and she did die. Twice," said Melnight.
By the "grace of God," she was revived, Melnight said. "She still gave birth to us, all four of us, and we're all alive."
There are "significant disabilities" for some of her siblings, but "we're all alive, and that's what matters."
The March, an annual event, saw hundreds of pro-life supporters gather on Boston Common for a rally with music, prayer, and a short speaking program before attendees marched around the perimeter of the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common.
With temperatures in the 90s, they gathered at the steps of the statehouse to publically decry the legalization of abortion and offer a witness to life before departing.
Representatives from a number of area pro-life organizations, including sponsor Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Catholic Daughters of America, 40 Days for Life, and Students for Life offered brief comments at the rally, and passed out paper signs for the march and informational pamphlets.
Rob Carney, 27, told The Pilot he braved the heat to attend the march to experience the "beauty of witness," and encourage other young people to support the cause.
Seeing so many people march for life, Carney said he is reminded of the "importance and beauty of community."
Experiencing that, and hearing witness stories, shows to him "the difference each person's choices can make."
For Melnight, that difference is visible each and every day.
"If I didn't have a mom who wasn't pro-life, I wouldn't be here today," she said, her voice cracking. "I'm so grateful."
Held each year, the march serves as a way to gather people of all faiths to witness to life and raise funds for local pro-life organizations and the many services they perform.