March for Life

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22:  Pro-life activists p...
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By Victoria Clarizio
Staff Writer

On Thursday, January 22, S.O.U.L. (Students Organized to Uphold Life), Marywood’s Pro-Life club, joined one million others for the 36th annual March for Life in Washington D.C., but their participation in the March actually began the night before. The Marywood Students joined high school students from the youth groups of St. Jude, Corpus Christi and Epiphany Parishes. They traveled to St. Pallotti high school in Laurel, Maryland to participate in their Locked in for Life program. The program included a prayer service and a performance by Catholic artist Matt Maher.

Early Thursday morning the group traveled to the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. for a youth rally and mass prior to participating in the March. S.O.U.L. member Emily says, “It was inspiring to see so many young people gathered together.” In fact there were over 30,000 people at the youth rally, a truly inspiring and powerful sight. Fr. Brian Van Fossen, Chaplain of Marywood University, saw the youth rally as “a handing on” and was glad to see that “the youth are taking over the leadership” in this fight.

The March for Life began in 1974 as a response to the supreme court case Roe v. Wade in which it was decided that a woman can abort her pregnancy up until the point that the child could live outside the womb, which was determined to be about 28 weeks, or 7 months.

From the beginning the March has been focused on the reversal of this decision, but this year everyone was marching for an additional cause. In 2007, FOCA, the Freedom of Choice Act, was introduced. The core of this act states, “[i]t is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.” If this act is implemented states and local governments will no longer have the authority to create abortion laws. Essentially the act would remove any previous limitations on when and if abortions can be performs. In fact. under FOCA a doctor can actually be sued if they refuse to perform an abortion. For members of the pro-life movement this is very disheartening and invalidates the progress of the last forty years.

With the inauguration of a new president a mere two days before the March, it made a powerful and peaceful statement. S.O.U.L member Kelsey Knight thought, “It was extremely powerful to see that many people who were willing to show their support for the pro-life movement.” Colleen Dunn, president of the club also thought it was, “inspiring to see hundreds of thousands of people celebrating life.” All the attendants of the March for Life surely hoped that all the leaders of our country were as inspired by their courage to stand up for this cause.

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