Young, pro-life activists across US make their voices heard in pandemic era March for Life
The 2021 March for Life occurred solely through virtual and local events.
College students participated in events across the country; some explained to Campus Reform why it is important for students to be vocally pro-life.
Across the United States, pro-life college students participated in the March for Life.
Though it typically hosts an annual event in Washington, D.C., the March for Life, which draws attention to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade and remembers the 62 million children aborted in the United States since 1973, occurred virtually and through local events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without a nationwide march in Washington, D.C, students found their experiences at local marches to be valuable.
Marcos Lares, who studies genetics and biotechnology at New Mexico State University, told Campus Reform that he enjoyed the El Paso March for Life.
“Due to the pandemic we had to change our way in how we usually do things in the Southwest,” he explained. “We had a Caravan for Life through the city of El Paso passing through major sites as they relate to abortion in the borderland. It brought a sense of hope in the midst of uncertainty.”
Lares explained that New Mexico is experiencing a renewed push from pro-choice legislators. He said that one bill currently on the table would effectively remove conscience rights from medical professionals, which would force him to attend medical school outside of the state.
Kassidy Johnson, a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, attended the March for Life in Philadelphia.
Johnson said that it was encouraging to see hundreds of Philadelphians march past “the largest abortion mill in the state.”
“Being vocally pro-life as a college student is really important because of the amount of peers our age that are choosing abortion or have already chosen abortion even in high school,” she told Campus Reform. “We need to share this message to love women who have already chosen abortion and so mothers and fathers know they can come to us for help if they are in an unplanned pregnancy.”
“College is a time where people are figuring out their values on their own, which is why we need to share this crucial message of life,” she added.
Jeremiah Beeler, who studies neuroscience at Penn, was also encouraged to see a large turnout at the march.
“Pro-life ministry can get lonely at times especially, seeing the same ten or so people on Saturdays at the abortion facilities,” Beeler said to Campus Reform. “It was a breath of fresh air to see that many people show up and care about this enough to walk in the cold.”
Agreeing with Johnson, Beeler says that it is “not hard to see the trend of college students in the United States.”
“College students are becoming more progressive, and in turn they are becoming more pro-abortion. But more specifically, pro-life vs pro-abortion doesn’t even seem to be something people discuss anymore,” he explained. “The political debates revolve primarily around climate change or universal healthcare or economic policy. Being vocally pro-life forces that conversation to happen as other students are faced with defending a position they’ve held passively for most of their lives.”
Leo Chen, a student at UPenn, said the march he attended drew "a lot more people than expected, it was extremely encouraging to see such a massive assortment of people across all ages, races, genders come together to celebrate and protect life."
"I reside in a demographic that exercises abortion options at an alarming rate—the statistics and experience show that. There are many ways to go about addressing and reversing this pattern. But to have someone from your own demographic, another college student, speak genuine love and truth in the interest of life presents this dialogue with another voice from an important perspective, especially as we look forward to how we intend to carry this campaign into the future. Millions of college-age kids right now are reshaping, redeveloping, and reforming their world views and existential frameworks—once they graduate and start working, it becomes very hard to change their opinions and beliefs. It’s the golden opportunity right now, then, to engage my classmates and peers in what can be uncomfortable but also what absolutely is a crucial dialogue while we still have the opportunity," Chen explained.
And Miles Wiley (pictured above), a student at Centralia College in Centralia, Washington, reflected on his experience.
"I believe that it is important to be vocally pro-life, because I see the hurt and pain that is caused by abortion. On campuses across America, students are told that 'abortion helps women,' and that 'women need abortion to be successful.' However, abortion in fact hurts women."
He added that "women who face an unplanned pregnancy are many times overwhelmed. It is the job of the community around her to empower her to show that she is strong. I would say that it is defeatist and misogynist message to tell women that they can’t handle a family, school, and their career. Instead of undermining women’s abilities and their natural strengths, we should be helping women through their pregnancy and after. The Pro-Life Movement is that voice that is advocating for women. It is more important than ever to stand for life," Wiley said.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft