PROVIDENCE — On Tuesday, Feb. 25, after delivering powerful testimony at the Rhode Island Statehouse, well-known pro-life advocate Christopher F. Young, 51, of Narragansett, died while driving home with his family.
Before the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee, Young offered his voice one last time in support of the unborn, urging lawmakers to pass heartbeat legislation to shield the unborn from abortion.
In a Facebook post, his wife Kara Young shared on February 26 that her husband had passed away from a medical event, most likely a heart attack, while driving home from the state capital. Kara and their 6 year-old daughter Mary were unharmed in the accident.
“Chris was magnificent in his testimony,” she said. “As always courageously defending defenseless human beings in the womb. I believe that his consistent passion, commitment, and bravery ultimately took a toll on his heart. He cared about issues and people of all walks of life, ages, races, etc., at a much higher level than anyone I have ever known, and he was extremely intelligent and talented. He helped more people than anyone I know.”
Young, a Catholic, fervent pro-life supporter and frequent R.I. political candidate, put the faith on display in the statehouse in other ways. He and his wife were organizers of the annual nativity lighting in the capital’s rotunda, where each Advent, many would gather to celebrate the coming birth of Christ, followed by the singing of Christmas carols and enjoyment of Christmas cookies.
In his final witness to life at the statehouse, Young shared his passionate testimony on behalf the H7355 resolution that would recognize that the “existence of a fetal heartbeat or flutter is evidence of the existence of human life.” Young insisted that lawmakers “do the right thing.”
“You have to make the decision to do the right thing at your own sacrifice,” said Young. “But Jesus sacrificed on the Cross. He suffered. He died. And he rose again. And he ascended into Heaven. You can do the same thing. Whose side do you want to be on in the end? The time is now. There's no other time. Now is the time to risk your future. You were put here by God. You were put in these seats by God. This is the time to make the right choice. To save the baby in the womb.”
Since his death, countless people from the local pro-life community have reached out to offer their prayers and sympathy with the family.
Carol Owens, the Life and Family Ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Providence, shared that this year’s 40 Days for Life Lenten Campaign will be dedicated to Chris Young and his decade’s long advocacy for the unborn. 40 Days for Life is a 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses.
A statement from Rhode Island Right to Life, said “Our hearts are broken today upon hearing the news that Chris Young passed away [February 26] on his way home from testifying on a pro-life bill at the Statehouse. Please join us in lifting him and his family up in your prayers.”
Father Jay Finelli, pastor of the Church of the Holy Ghost in Tiverton, also offered his condolences to the family.
“God bless Chris Young for his fidelity to Christ, the unborn, and his family. Requiescat in pace! Prayers for Kara Young, Mary, and all of their family.”
Tyler Rowley, president of Servants of Christ for Life, shared that he was in awe of Young’s last act on earth — offering a voice for the voiceless.
“Chris talked about our mortality and how all of us, including him, will die one day soon and be judged by the God who created and loves us. Twenty minutes later his heart gave out. Eternal rest, brother. You had more courage in your heart than most.”
A memorial fund has been set up for Chris’ family. Click here to learn more.