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Updated Jan 22, 2013 - 7:09 pm

Anti-abortion protesters rally in downtown Phoenix

People attend an anti-abortion in rally in Phoenix on Jan. 22, 2013. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

PHOENIX -- Tuesday marked 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Hundreds of anti-abortion protesters marked the decision's anniversary with the Phoenix Rally for Life outside of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Phoenix.

Forty bells rang out, one for each year that has passed since the decision. Several state lawmakers were at the rally, and a proclamation was read from Gov. Jan Brewer supporting the anti-abortion movement.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery told the crowd that abortion should be illegal.

"The first civil right mentioned in our founding documents is the right to life, for without the right to life, liberty has no meeting and there can be no pursuit of happiness," he said. "Yet for 40 years now to the day since Roe v. Wade, our nation has tolerated the killing of innocent children, with over 55 million having been slaughtered."

Montgomery put that number in perspective.

"That's over nine Holocausts. That's 5,500 D-Days. That's more than 18,000 9/11s. That's 2.75 million Newtown shootings."

Karen Williams of Phoenix had an abortion about 25 years ago. She told the crowd that she thinks about her baby every day. She named her unborn child Michael. She wonders "what might have he become, had he been given the chance to live? I can only imagine a first day of school, a band concert, baseball games, picnics and proms, a wedding. I can only imagine."

Montgomery used the Newtown shootings to issue a personal plea to President Barack Obama to work to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

"If the deaths of 20 children cause such justifiable outrage and motivate you to exercise executive power, and you truly care about children, then act now! Act today," he said.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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