Pro-life community suffers tragic losses

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.

22 thoughts on “Pro-life community suffers tragic losses”

  1. Jill, thank you for honoring Kortney on your blog; as Bound4LIFE did on Moral Outcry and others are doing today.  I have sent a gift to help defray Ben’s cost of burying his wife and daughter.  I am so very grieved for this young family.  I encourage all readers to pause and offer prayers of thanksgiving and protection for all those who put themselves on the front lines of this raging spiritual battle.

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  2. There are just no words for something like this.  :(  May God bring peace and comfort to Kortney’s family in a way only He can.  And may Jon make a full recovery.

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  3. It’s so hard to make sense of things like this. I will pray for her, her husband, and her family. So tragic.

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  4. I know that I am certainly going to miss Kortney! The pro-life movement will as well – but I know that many young soldiers for Christ are rising up, inspired by Kortney’s dedication and bubbly, loving personality.

    She is in Christ’s hands now <3

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  5. I am so full of tears right now for this woman who I didn’t even know. I grieve for her and for her daughter. What a fabulous legacy she has left though… think of the joy she has left in her wake, in her short 28 years. When you contrast that with aged abortionists and clinic owners who live long lives and die leaving only a trail of tears as their legacy, you see how God used Kortney. He will also use this tragedy to save lives, I know it.

    My prayers are with her husband Benjamin and the rest of her family.

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  6. And I think honeymoon babies are the sweetest, most precious “souvenirs” a couple can bring home from their trip! I have a couple friends who conceived their first children on their honeymoon and I love it. Life is the greatest gift!

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  7. Tragedies like these are mysteries.  God allowed this for a reason.  WE don’t see the bigger picture.  All I can think of, is that this war against the unborn rages on, and we need as much help as we can get.  Kortney’s death is not the end of her prolife work.  She’ll be interceding for the prolife movement and the unborn in heaven.  Just think of the many babies she has saved who will be awaiting her arrival in paradise!  And her own precious Sophy will be interceding with her.  We have two powerhouses, two more members of the Church Triumphant to aid us in the pro-life work that still needs to be done…

    Death has no sting, but only for those who are left behind… I will be praying immensely for her husband and her family.  God’s blessings and peace and consolation be upon them all…

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  8. I realize that this is only a picture in my mortal mind, but can you imagine the cloud of witnesses that were looking on when God the Father told Kortney “well done, thou good and faithful servant!”?  Millions and millions of those who never took a breath on this earth, but were ushered immediately into the presence of God after abortion took their life. They were all there when Kortney and Sophy arrived, and they all are singing eternal praises to God together. What unspeakable joy in heaven!

    Sadly, no matter how much we know they are in the best place, I know her family would rather have them here. So I will pray for their peace. I will pray that by God’s grace they will be allowed to understand His purpose in the loss they suffer.

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  9. only god knows the reason for taking kortney and her baby home. we will never understand but may you both be with god in paradise until your family joins you and we all meet again.

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  10. I can’t imagine the grief her husband and family is enduring. What a horrible, horrible loss! I am sure she got the homecoming she deserved in Heaven.

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  11. A tragic loss, indeed. My condolensces to her family :(

    Once her obituary is released, we can contact Facebook customer service, with the obituary & they will turn Kortney’s Facebook page in a memorial page, where individuals can write memories & supportive messages.

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