Marian University Students Embark on Historic “March for Life” Trip in Washington D.C.

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Marian University Students Embark on Historic “March for Life” Trip in Washington D.C.

Marian students in Washington D.C. for annual March for Life.

Marian students in Washington D.C. for annual March for Life.

Anthony Kovacs

Marian students in Washington D.C. for annual March for Life.

Anthony Kovacs

Anthony Kovacs

Marian students in Washington D.C. for annual March for Life.

Alyssa Chartrand, Managing Editor

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Around 90 Marian students embarked on a three-day trip to the nation’s capital for the 47th annual March for Life — the anti-abortion movement sparked following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legalized in the U.S.— with President Donald Trump present as the first president to formally address the march in person.
Since the first March for Life in 1974, the annual event consists of a peaceful walk around Washington for the future elimination of abortion through their mission statement of “uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square.” This year’s March placed more of an emphasis on redefining the feminist narrative that pro-life is not equivalent to being pro-woman. Marian students collectively promoted the ideal.
Preparation for the march began around 6 p.m. on Thursday, the 23rd, when Marian – along with several IUPUI and Butler – students boarded buses on Marian’s campus. They arrived in D.C. on the morning of Friday the 24th around 5:45 a.m. Upon arrival, the Marian marchers began their mission participating in morning Mass at the city’s national Catholic basilica.
Around noon, the marchers met at the National Mall and joined thousands of all-aged citizen advocates to combat the abortion legislature. The social media hashtags, banners and posters promoted the rally’s overarching theme: “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
At the climax of the presentation before the march, President Trump took to the podium to discuss the theme and future implications for the movement. As told in the independent pro-life news agency LifeNews, President Trump pushed for the “rights of unborn children,” issues with the clashes between sovereign nations and the U.N. and also expressed the movement’s compassion for mothers.
President Trump also touched on Christian advocacy of the movement. He said, “Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child – born and unborn – is a sacred gift from God.”
News outlets and social media continue to debate the effectiveness of the president’s speech.
Nonetheless, several Marian marchers later spoke or posted about their strong pride in what seemed intended in his message.
Sophomore Drew Sullivan posted on social media, “This [March for Life] I had the HONOR of Marching for unborn children in Washington DC.”
He also said, “And I was honored to hear from the President of the United States speak on how precious all lives are and how they are a gift from God.”
Junior Jessica Browne said, “In general, I thought his speech was really good.”
She said, “He was very on topic and I liked how he didn’t make it about all the things he’s done for the pro-life movement or pro-life legislation… He talked about how it’s not just about the babies, but the mothers too and I appreciated that.”
Others, however, expressed their pro-life efforts being outside of the political discussion.
Junior Hannah Yowler shared her own mission for marching: to overcome the stigma of what “pro-life” means according to mainstream media.
“I was not marching to make a political statement or say something about my religion,” Yowler said, “but because I see that our country is in pain and that there are men and women who are in deep pain [regarding] abortion and we have lost what it means to respect life. So, I find it a great honor to show the world that there is a meaning to all of [what the March does].”
January 25, one day after the March, served as Marian’s attendance at the Pro-Life Summit in D.C. while cities across the U.S. hosted the Women’s March in promotion of pro-choice and women’s reproductive rights. After the two marches, questions remain of how the controversial issue will continue to ensue both on campus and across the U.S.