This year over 1,000 Notre Dame students traveled on nineteen charter buses from South Bend to Washington D.C. to join with over 100,000 other people for the 45th annual March for Life. If you don't know anything about the pro-life movement and aren't familiar with the March for Life, here's a quick run down:
The March for Life started because of the passing of the Roe v. Wade court ruling which made abortion legal. Since then, activists have been rallying on the anniversary of that court ruling with the hope that someday the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal again. The activists do this, not because they oppose women, but because they believe that every life is sacred from conception until death and that ultimately, women deserve better than to have pregnancy be the reason that they can't accomplish their dreams. For pro-lifers, the dream is of a world in which life is celebrated, no matter how or when it is started and that human beings, no matter their age, are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. The March is a peaceful rally and has speakers from many different walks of life that lay testament to what the pro-life movement means to them.
Luckily, Notre Dame has one of the largest and most active Pro-Life clubs in the country and club members spend their time outside of classes volunteering at a variety of organizations and events that are meant to help celebrate life at every step from conception until natural death. People who love children and volunteer to babysit for single mothers or families who are in a financial crisis. Other people who love party planning and shopping throw baby showers for mothers in the South Bend area who can't afford to buy items for their babies. Other people who love to hear the stories of the elderly volunteer at the local nursing home to play bingo. Some people with a knack for communicating with those who might have a developmental disorder share their time volunteering with local organizations such as Hannah & Friends, who care for those with special needs. Being pro-life is much more than just being anti-abortion, and Notre Dame's Pro-Life club truly embraces that.
It is because of leaders in the Pro-Life club that all 1,000 of us could make it to D.C. as they are the ones who plan the trip and subsidize the cost so that students can travel and stay in D.C. for an unbelievably low cost. This year was my third year going to the March with Notre Dame and the pride in walking alongside people for what you believe is right still hasn't worn off. It is truly incredible to stand as one of a crowd that large and to know that everyone is unified in their reason for being there. Despite our common goal, the people who participate in the walk are remarkably diverse. From atheists to feminist groups and orders of religious sisters, all strive to achieve the same purpose - the overturn of Roe v. Wade. It is such a beautiful and joyful group of people to be around. Participating in a political rally is such a great opportunity to have, and I feel blessed to live in a country where it is legal, even encouraged, to voice your opinions and speak out for what you believe.
I strongly encourage you to participate in speaking up for what you believe is right, and I know that at Notre Dame it is easy to find a way to do that. Take advantage of our freedom of speech and be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves.