by Steven Ertelt
January 22, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Hundreds of thousands of pro-life people turned out for the annual March for Life in Washington, braving cold temperatures to take a stand for the right to life of unborn children. While marchers mourned 35 years of legalized abortion, many sounded a hopeful theme for a pro-life future and think the decision will eventually be reversed.
As with other recent marches, the number of young adults and high school and college students impressed organizers and provided another reason to be optimistic.
"People will get on a bus and travel 24, 48, 72 hours, some even further," Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright told the Washington Times. "That’s such an immense dedication, which is striking when you consider it is not on behalf of privileges or rights for themselves."
Catholic University wound up hosting more than 1,600 high school and college students from other states at their campus to help them afford attending the event.
David Talcott, an Indiana University graduate student, said what happens in the future depends on whether the pro-life movement will continue to stay motivated.
Its just a matter of whether or not you see human life as important enough to defend, Talcott said.
He urged pro-life advocates to do more than rally for life this month, but to remain active throughout the year.
These things can’t be done sitting on our couches in our comfortable and warm living rooms, Talcott said. God calls us to action; Christ propels us out into the world.
John O’Herron, a second-year law student at the University of Richmond and the organizer of the Students for Life group there, says he thinks Roe v. Wade was a terrible Supreme Court decision but one that will eventually be toppled.
"It’s so poorly written. It’s based on weird ideas," he said.
Olivia Gans, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, says she understands why so many young Americans participate.
"Some of these kids know a member of the family is missing," she told the Richmond Times Dispatch. "They know they would have been the second child not the first child in their family because of an abortion Mom and Dad had."
But adults attended as well and Bob and Sandy Ashley from Rayburn, Kentucky said they wouldn’t miss the March for Life.
"I’m a very strong pro-life person," Bob said. "We need to make a stand."
"It’s important to make our presence known," Sandy added. The main thing is to be involved in the march, but it’s nice, too, to stop and listen at spots along the way where people are singing, chanting, speaking and just having fun with witnessing. It’s amazing being part of that crowd."
Elaine Peneno, 62, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, also attended and woke up at 4 a.m. to catch a bus to make it to Washington.
My family said, You know, its supposed to rain, why dont you just not go, she told the Rockland newspaper. And I said, No, no, no, I dont care what its doing raining, snowing Im going because its very important.
Though some marchers have attended the event for decades, it was the first for Peneno.
I absolutely am opposed to the Roe versus Wade opinion, she said, and I figured it was time for me to stand up and shout to the world thats what I believe.