I am a woman, I am a millennial, and I am pro-life. I know, that's crazy right? Well actually it's more common than you might think. This past Friday, January 27th 2017, hundreds of thousands of people from across America made the trek to DC to march for unborn children and their mothers. I would like to preface this article with mentioning that this a movement of love, not just for the unborn but also for the mothers who have been and are in a situation where they are faced with the option of aborting their baby. In this post, I am going to share a little bit about my experience at the march and end with telling you why I marched.
My Friday morning started a little different than most Friday mornings. Instead of waking up early to head to the rink, or head to class, I woke up at 5:30 am and headed to the Verizon Center where thousands gathered for a rally and mass. Here I was reminded that it is okay to speak up when we feel something is unjust. Often times our voices are silenced by fear of what others might think of us, but it is so important for all of us to stand for the things we believe in. After mass we made our way to the Washington Monument where several speakers spoke about the importance of life and the hope that one day we will live in a world where people recognize and value the life of each unborn child. The keynote speaker was Vice President Mike Pence who delivered a memorable speech. Following the speech, two things he said really struck me. The first was he said, "We will continue to win the hearts and minds of the rising generation if our hearts first break for young mothers and their unborn children." I think it is so important to show empathy to any young women who feels like they must consider the option of abortion. I would argue that most women do not want to get an abortion but instead feel they have to because of financial reasons, social criticism, etc. and we (as pro-lifers) need to recognize that hardship. The second thing Vice President Pence said was that "life is winning again." It is so easy, on a college campus, to feel like we are not heading in that direction but after seeing the hundreds of thousands of passionate young men and women here this weekend, I am confident that what he said is true.
Before I tell you the reason I marched on Friday, I want to give a little background on when my pro-life beliefs really formed. I was in middle school when I first started gaining interest in the world of politics, so casually in dance class with one of my best friends we would discuss politics while tying our pointe shoes or grabbing a drink from the water fountain. What I learned one day, is that my best friend could have been one of the millions of babies that are aborted every year. She told me everything. She told me how her mother was young, 16 years old, and how everyone in her family told her to abort her except for one aunt. And she could have. And I never would have known my friend. This world would have had an empty place that could have only been filled by her life. But by the grace of God, her mom went against everything. She didn't care if society told her she was too young, she didn't care if her family wasn't going to support her, she didn't care if people would judge her. All she cared about was this life inside her and she knew it was up to her to protect it. This is when the pro-life movement really struck me because I couldn't have imagined my life without this friend and I began thinking about how often women must be in this situation and how hard it must be. After learning about this, I began talking to my mom about abortion and how sad it made me. My mom then told me about my grandma and her story. My grandma was 18 when she had my mother. And like the story of my best friend, my grandma's family encouraged her to get an abortion. "She's too young," "She isn't ready," "What would others say?" These are the words that were spoken to my grandmother. So what did my grandma do, she felt something pulling at her heart and decided to go against everyone. She didn't care if society told her she was too young, she didn't care if her family wasn't going to support her, she didn't care if people would judge her. All she cared about was this life inside her and she knew it was up to her to protect it. Society has created this environment of shame for pregnant women. When a woman is pregnant when they're too young, or out of wedlock, or not financially stable, society condemns them and gives them a supposedly "easy way out." So why did I march this weekend? I marched for the women who have had abortions. I marched for those searching for healing. I marched for the women who find themselves in a situation where they are confronted with the option of abortion so they might be strong enough to go against what society says is okay. Life is precious and we should protect it to our fullest ability. I know people don't want the government to force them to do anything. People want to make their own choices. I'm not here to say the government should decide your fate but instead I am here to encourage young women to choose life. I want their to be support and opportunities to make life the more appealing option.