Over the weekend the pro-life movement tragically lost Students for Life of America Field Director Kortney Blythe Gordon and her preborn 21-week-old daughter Sophy in an automobile accident.
About 8p Saturday night Kortney, 28, and three passengers were driving back to Virginia from an SFLA conference in Georgia. An oncoming vehicle on the two-lane road on which they were driving swerved into Kortney’s lane and hit her car head-on.
Kortney and Sophy were killed on impact.
Front seat passenger Jon Scharfenberger (pictured left), Coordinator of SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, was critically injured and remains in dire condition.
Both backseat passengers, students, suffered broken bones and internal injuries, although not critically.
Kortney dedicated her too-short life to the pro-life movement. Kortney worked for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust from 2006 to 2009 and Rock for Life from 2009 to 2010. Kortney took her position at SFLA in June 2010.
Survivor Timmerie Millington wrote about Kortney on her blog:
[At Survivors] she was responsible for training hundreds of pro-life youth to stand in defense of the unborn. Kortney taught me how to sidewalk counsel when I was 13. She taught me that above all when counseling women against abortion to love each and every woman who entered the clinic because God loves us. To respond to women gently and to do everything in my power to save them from losing their child and to save that precious unborn child form death. I remember standing outside of numerous abortion clinic doors praying and speaking with her while we waited to be the last intervention between that unborn child and the abortion procedure room.
Kortney married sweetheart Benjamin earlier this year. The two promptly demonstrated their pro-life convictions by conceiving a honeymoon baby… :) Normally this might be TMI, but I think it is so touching and sweet and helps reveal more of Kortney’s heart.
Benjamin and Kortney recently learned their baby was a girl. Kortney named Sophy after Sophie Scholl, an organizer of the student-run White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany. Sophie was convicted of treason in 1943 and executed.
Kortney’s love for Sophy is readily apparent by her Facebook profile photo, an ultrasound image of her precious daughter taken only five days ago, on October 4.
It is hard to fathom such tragic losses. To help with the grieving process, SFLA is hosting a webcast at 5p EST tonight “for those who want to pray and offer their words of support for Kortney’s family and of encouragement for Jon.”
Speaking on the call will David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, Rev. Pat Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, and Claude Allen of Gerard Health Foundation. Get call info here.
Kortney called herself an “abortion abolitionist.” I really like that.
SFLA has organized a way for pro-lifers to help defray burial costs for Kortney and Sophy here. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of donations will go to Kortney’s family. SFLA shared these thoughts:
Kortney lived by one of her favorite verses, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” She passed doing what she loved, and we are beyond blessed for the countless gifts that she bestowed to our staff, our students and pro-life leaders across the country.
In your prayers for Kortney’s family, please also remember to pray for Jon’s recovery as well as the two pro-life students who were also injured.