Pro-Life Supporters Bring Their Message to D.C.
Barrington Salmon & Sam P.K. Collins | 1/30/2013, 10:24 a.m.
Tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists and supporters held a spirited and vociferous rally to show their support for the right to life on the National Mall on the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
They came despite raw and bitter cold and snow that began while they marched to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vast majority of those who marched from the Mall to the steps of the Supreme Court were young people from Catholic high schools and church organizations and other religious groups and seminarians representing the next generation poised to wage battle against a law they consider illegal and onerous.
Leading many of the young people - adorned in neon greens, reds, oranges and other bright colors to distinguish one group from another - were an assortment of priests, lay ministers and church volunteers.
"I'm here to fight for life. It's a great concern because I ask where we're going," said Father Adam Urbaniak, a member of a Diocesan Order based in Orchard Hills, Mich. "The nation is killing itself and unborn babies. Without the young generation, where will we go? What have we become?"
"I get the sense that many people are beginning to think about it, especially young people," said Urbaniak, a Polish native. "People are waking up, waking up and have come here to fight for children who cannot fight for or protect themselves."
Demonstrators carried large and small banners, crosses, flags and placards saying "I'm the Pro-Life Generation,"; "Defend Life,"; "Michigan Loves Life: Protect the Unborn,"; and "Defund Planned Parenthood." Marchers chanted as well, saying "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!" among other mantras. Speakers included former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J) and Jeanne Monahan, the newly appointed head of March for Life. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) fired up the crowd via video and vowed to work tirelessly to pass a bill that bans abortions paid by taxpayers.
SuvedaThiagaraj, a 40-year-old Rochester, N.Y. resident and a native of India, traveled to the District with a group of 10 adults and children.
"We have to defend life through prayer, action and fasting," she said. "Together we're praying for the president, like St. Paul, to experience a conversion. When a leader leads, it will move the nation. This is a very important cause: to have and defend life. We can't turn away from God and expect blessings."
Cheryl Vignola also accompanied a group of 10 high school-aged girls from St. William Catholic Church in Naples, Fla., to the rally and march. In all, she said, 50 girls made the trip.
"We're here to say that we believe in the dignity and value of every human life regardless of their age, or color. I believe we live in a culture of death and God calls us to be His disciples. It's the 40th anniversary ... and we pray that the law will be overturned. Fifty-five million babies have been aborted in the last 40 years. I imagine that some of them might have made great medical discoveries, for example, made great contributions."