It was below freezing in Washington D.C the morning of The March for Life rally. My school, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School, has a pro-life group called Mercy for Life, of which I am a member. As a Catholic school, one of the strong religious beliefs is being pro-life. Pro-life means one who chooses life.
Every year, a fairly small group of kids from my school who are in Mercy for Life go. This year I felt passionate enough to do it along with 16 other students. Bright smiles and happiness rested on our faces knowing we were about to partake in a march for a person’s right to life.
Before the march, my school group and I went to a youth rally at the D.C Armory, a D.C.-based arena. According to my math teacher, Mr. Hofkes, who has been to the arena before, the place is usually fully packed for the rally. However, the well anticipated storm Jonas, was on the way this time.
The rally host, DJ Bill Lage, said there can only be two reasons we were here: “One, you guys are the most insane Catholics around or you guys have nothing better to do.” It went from being a full house last year to one-third the crowd this year. The blizzard was on the way and some people were not up for the risk. The rally was fun and uplifting at the same time. We talked, shouted, and danced. However, it was also a prayerful experience which included mass and reconciliation or confession.
This blizzard may have had some people scared to march but not Lauren Garger, 16, a sophomore from Our Lady of Catholic Mercy High School. When asked if the weather would stop her she said, “Oh no that won’t stop me, I think it makes me more excited for what I am doing.
After the rally we walked around D.C., before preparing to march. There were people handing out purple standard poster-sized signs saying “#istandforlife.” It was so inspiring to see a person holding a pro-life sign in their hand every corner we turned.
After taking a quick break, we prepared to march from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Supreme Court building. When we arrived at the Washington Monument, I was so overwhelming to see what looked like hundreds of people. It was almost surreal. As expected, little flurries began to fall even before we began to walk. Immediately after, several people began to leave the march and head home.
The early sign of a blizzard did not discourage my group; we continued to the march. From toddlers to the elderly, a variety of people were marching. During the march, another student from my school and I said the Hail Mary with a Spanish group. No matter our cultural differences, we were all able to come together for a common cause.
The longer we walked, the faster the snow came. It came just as fast as the rude remarks from other protesters there supporting pro-choice. Pro-choice is the belief that a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion or not.
The hatred in their voices scared me. We were peaceful protesters but their words and stares did not look friendly. One random guy passed us screaming: “You care nothing about life!”
At the end of the march, several speakers spoke about regretting their abortion. Patrick Dillon, a junior at Our Lady of Mercy High School, was touched by a speaker who was a date rape victim.
“Given the circumstances of a rape, it is very easy to decide to go through with an abortion,” Dillon said. “It takes a morally strong person to have faith in God enough to accept even in the given circumstances that it was still murder.”
One speaker who touched me was Dr. Marguerite Duane, a family physician and professor at Georgetown University. She shared a story of two of her anonymous patients, one who chose an abortion and one who kept the baby.
“As a doctor I explained it was my job to care for both patients, the mother and the baby,” Duane said.
The outcome of both patients were extremely different. The one who chose to keep the baby was described as “happy as can be,” when seen at a checkup with Dr. Duane. As for the other patient, she broke up with her boyfriend and decided not to pursue becoming a doctor. It was touching to me that a woman in her career still puts her faith first and looks out for the well being of her patients.
“Being pro-life is pro-woman because the pro-life movement shares the scientific truth with women,” said Duane.
As a girl, the rally and march was empowering to me and inspired me to want to march even more no matter the weather conditions. That day the snow did not stop any of us and we united against abortion and for the dignity of life.
Photos provided by Dasia Evertsz, VOX Contributor.