by Sarah Donetti, Communications/Events Coordinator
A long-sleeved shirt, under a hoodie, under a thick jacket, under a waterproof wintercoat. Phone-friendly gloves under insulated mittens. Several packs of handwarmers stuffed into my already overstuffed purse.
I had seen March for Life pictures from previous years and prepared for a polar vortex.
However, the real weather of my first March for Life turned out quite differently–somewhere in the mid-forties. Within ten minutes, I took off both my gloves and mittens, with my bare hands not feeling a hint of frostbite through the afternoon.
While the weather may have been a significant change at this year’s March for Life, the reason some 500,000 people came to Washington, D.C. on January 22nd remained the same: to protest the anniversary of legal abortion in the United States.
I had the privilege of going on my first March with Students for Life of Michigan, a group consisting of pro-life college students from around the state. In recent news, certain politicians have shied away from taking a stand against abortion, reasoning that the pro-life position doesn’t resonate with millennials. How different from what I saw while with this group of young adults! I had several great conversations with pro-life students from Michigan who were actively involved in campus groups and wanted to use their future for the cause of LIFE through careers such as law or sonography. At the beginning of the March, I stood near the front of the procession with them under a large banner declaring “We Are the Pro-Life Generation.” Thousands of students attended Students for Life of America’s East Coast conference the day after the March to become further equipped in pro-life activism.
Overall, I was struck by the diversity in the crowds I saw – multiple generations and multiple denominations represented. Through signs, many marchers told personal stories of how abortion affected them. Others expressed gratitude for their mothers choosing life in spite of a culture telling them not to because of circumstances, wantedness, or bad prenatal diagnoses.
As the March ascended up a hill on Constitution Avenue, the emotional impact of just how many people were there finally hit me. I turned around to see thousands more people, banners and signs; other than a few very faint police lights in the distance, there was no hint of an end! After spending about an hour at the end of the procession at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Silent No More representatives shared their testimonies of abortion regret, I began to head back with a group of students to our hotel. We passed Constitution Avenue again to find people still coming up the hill!
At the steps of the Supreme Court, “Equal Justice Under Law” is engraved on the building’s front. Thank God for so many willing to march for the belief that “Equal Justice” under the law should also include the unborn. I hope the students I travelled with, and all the marchers in D.C. this year, will continue acting on that compassion for life through the rest of 2015!