Liberty Law Students: Leading the March for Life

 

Guest blog post by Sean Maquire, President of Liberty Law Students for Life and Mia Yugo, Vice President of Law Students for Life

On January 22, 1973, the highest court in the land held that abortion was a woman’s “right.” Thus far, over fifty-five million children have been legally aborted as a result of that fateful decision forty-one years ago. Fifty-five million voices silenced before ever uttering a sound.

Liberty Law StudentsLiberty University School of Law Students for Life stands for the right to life and defends all life, not just the lives of the young, the strong, and the able-bodied. We firmly believe that all human life is valuable and deserves to be protected. Every life is a gift and must be respected.

Today, those who receive a poor prenatal diagnosis are more-likely-than-not to be legally aborted. This country allows the abortion of any child with a “fetal abnormality.” Although the law protects people with abnormalities after they are born, it fails to do so prior to birth. Law Students for Life is honored to lead the March for Life this January in support of the principle that the law must protect all people – including those who have not yet been born.

The decisions that steered this nation away from the culture of life were rendered long before we were born. Yet, the consequences of abortion continue to impact every generation. There are empty places in our hearts for siblings, friends, cousins, nephews, and nieces who were never born. We see the pain on a woman’s face – the remorse in her eyes – when she remembers the child she never met because she chose to end an innocent life. We cry with men whose girlfriends abort their child while they stand powerless to prevent it. That is the state of our laws.

We are not silent as this pain and destruction of humanity continues. We stand to tell all three branches of our government that the People, the sovereign of this land, oppose the slaughter of innocent life. We march to declare that this evil must be stopped, that all life must be respected at every stage of development, and that this nation must return to its founding principles of life and liberty.

It is a great honor to be able to lead the 42nd Annual March for Life this January. We look forward to being a part of the great awakening of the 21st century. To that end, we will lend our voices to those in the legal community declaring that these decisions must be overturned.

Throughout the year, we have been busy making preparations to lead the March. We have raised money by hosting spaghetti and teriyaki lunches in order to charter a bus to the March. We have been praying for a burning passion in our hearts to see abortion end. We have been preparing as legal students, so that we can employ our skills to help bring about this change in the law. Our excitement is building as we prepare to drive up to Washington, D.C. to join the March for Life.

Life is not a choice. It is a right. Abortion is not a mere procedure. It is the destruction of innocent human life and the first step towards the abyss. As all histories have shown, the flame of every society that thinks otherwise is inevitably extinguished.  We are a new generation of attorneys ready to call things by their real names, not by euphemisms created to cloud the truth and advance political agendas. If you support life, march with us in January.

 

Marching On: Erin Stoyell-Mulholland

Today we introduce you to Erin Stoyell-Mulholland, a Pennsylvania-native who is a senior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in theology with a business minor.

When did you first come to the March for Life?

My first trip was in the 7th grade with my parish in New Jersey at the time.  I went again my senior year of high school and have gone every year since then!  This past year, I was the president of our pro-life club and coordinated a group from Notre Dame that was supposed to bring 600 students!  Because of the weather, not everyone was able to make it but we still ended up with 350 people!

What was your biggest take-away from this past March for Life?

zerin - CopyWhat really stood out to me this past year was the perseverance of everyone in the pro-life movement! DC itself was almost shut down because of the snow and freezing temperatures, and yet thousands still showed up.  No one was complaining, but everyone was just happy to be there to be standing up for what they believe, in such a joyful manner.

How have you been marching on for life since January?

I became the pregnancy resource coordinator for our pro-life group and we will be focusing on the promotion of pregnancy resources.  Notre Dame has great resources, such as emotional, academic, personal, and financial assistance, but a lot of people don’t know about them.  We are also going to be doing trainings for students on how to help a friend who is pregnant.  One thing we did in the spring, that we plan to do again, is to have information at the cafeteria tables to spread this information.

Additionally, this summer in DC I worked at the pro-life office for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  (We were delighted to have Erin participate and speak at the March for Life 5K in May during her time in D.C.!)

March for Life 5K 017

How do you see yourself being involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

I definitely plan to work in the pro-life movement in future, in whatever way I see myself being called.  I’m very passionate about educational outreach.

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Don’t be afraid to stand for your beliefs.  You might have some tough conversations, but people will respect your passion.  People get far more afraid of the consequences of standing up, but ultimately people who are your friends will support you.

Marching On: Patrick Eliert

Patrick Eliert, is  a rising senior at St. John’s Catholic School in Beloit, KS. Patrick has been to the March for Life three times.  He first attended in 2011, and this year he is serving as the president of his school’s “Catholic School Life Rally” initiative.

zPatrick 17 yrs.

What were some take aways from the March for Life?

It was really cool to see the numbers that showed up. It showed me that, sometimes, although you feel like you are by yourself, there are people who share your beliefs. When we all get together, we can move mountains.

How have you been “marching on for life” since January? What is the Catholic School Life Rally?

Our school has been, for the past 5 or 6 years, going to an abortion clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska for peaceful prayer and protest. Last year we tried to make this a nationwide initiative. The goal was to get Catholic and Christian schools from all over the country to also participate and go to an abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood and join us in prayer on the same day. Last year our goal was to get 10 other schools involved, and 18 participated.

How can other students or schools get involved this year?

zmfl5We have a Facebook page, and hopefully soon we will have a website. Once we determine the date for the next Catholic School Life Rally, we will send out that information to anyone who is interested in joining. We usually do it in early December.

Like the Catholic School Life Rally on Facebook!

What made you want to get involved as President of the Catholic School Life rally?

This is something I feel very strongly about. It’s the one thing I want to change about the world most. When the opportunity presented itself, I felt like God was calling me to get involved.

What’s your advice to fellow young people?

There are always going to be people who disagree with you and will try to put you down. That is no reason to stop fighting.

Marching On: Cassie George

Cassie George, 17, is a rising senior at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, MD.  Her first trip to the March for Life was with friends during her 7th grade year, and she’s been attending almost every year since.  Read what she had to say about Marching On below, and don’t forget to share YOUR “Marching On” story.

What impacted you the most at your last March for Life trip?

The entire March for Life experience just inspired me to go home and to do something. 

How have you been marching on for life?

I wanted to impact people’s views on life, so I started my own blog, Thy Will Be Done.  I also applied to be a blogger with Prolife Youth, and joined that community!  I’ve had the opportunity to write on pro-life topics to influence my generation.  I recently had a blog published on fetal development, which explains what’s happening during a baby’s first twelve weeks in the womb.

How do you see yourself involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

I definitely plan to continue to blog – the fetal development post for Prolife Youth is a 3-parter, so stay tuned for more!   More specifically, I just want to continue to discern God’s will so that I am always spreading awareness about abortion and helping to save lives.

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Whether, you’re doing something small or big, keep up relentless support for life.  Simple things, like talking to friends about life or sharing a pro-life post on Facebook, can go a long way.

 

 

 

 

Marching On: Claire Lejeune

The next young lady we’d like to introduce you to has been attending the March for Life since she was only 4.  An 18 year old from Northern Virginia and student at Northern Virginia Community College, Claire Lejeune has been marching on for many years.  In fact, she’s already created an international pro-life organization.  Read more about her in our interview below, and don’t forget to share YOUR “Marching On” story.

What impacted you the most at this year’s March for Life?

I’ve been attending the March for Life every year since I was just a little kid, but this year was the most impactful.  This past January I truly realized the extent of the pro-life youth that attend the March for Life.  I went with the purpose of seeing how many young people really were there, and I was blown away, that despite the absolutely frigid temperatures, young people from all over the country, and all over the world came to DC in droves to speak out for life.

How have you been marching on for life?

At the March, and since January, I’ve had the opportunity to advocate for the group I started when I was 16, Prolife Youth.  It first started as a Twitter presence, then Facebook, and then the blog was established at the beginning of this year.  Youth bloggers from all over the world, in the age range of 15-28, contribute to the blog.  The goal is for young people to be able to educate our peers, and help each other stand up for life.  We even made #ProLifeYouth trend nationwide this past June!

How do you see yourself involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

I love to help people see the truth about life.  So I don’t know exactly, but I know that’s what I want to do. I certainly want to keep growing Prolife Youth; we’ve got lots of ideas and projects for the near future.  I also plan to begin sidewalk counseling as well.

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Don’t be afraid of what other’s think of you.  Doing something that makes you uncomfortable can often make the biggest impact.  Wether you post a pro-life article on your Facebook page or walk across America for life, just do something. That’s what will end abortion.

You can follow Prolife Youth on Twitter @ProlifeYouth and Claire@TheFrenchChicka

Be sure to check out the ProLife Youth Blog HERE.

 

Marching On: Cassandra Jimenez

 

Our next “Marching On” interview introduces you to Cassandra Jimenez, from St. Joseph’s, Missouri.  Cassandra, 16, is a sophomore at Bishop LeBlond High School.  Cassandra shared some of her experiences from the 2014 March for Life in an online essay called, “Unforgettable Lessons Learned at March for Life.”  Read what she’s been up to since January, and don’t forget you can share YOUR “Marching On” story with us HERE.

When did you first come to the March for Life?

I first came to the March for Life in 2011 when I was in 7th grade on a trip with my school.  This past January was my second trip, and it impacted me greatly.

What was your biggest take-away from this past March for Life?

This year, I was most impacted by the reality of how abortion harms women and families.  I had a powerful conversation with a post-abortive woman whom I met at the top of the Hill as we were marching, right before the Supreme Court. (Here’s a quote from Cassandra’s essay at Catholic Key Online)

When I got to the top of the hill there was a woman standing there with a sign that said, “I regret my abortion.” I think when she saw me crying, she wanted to comfort me. She walked up to me and told me about her pain and sorrow and everything she has lost. She cried and hugged me and confided to me, “I made the wrong choice but I can be the one to help many others make the right decision.” She kissed me on my forehead and sent me up to the courthouse. I walked up to the courthouse and heard so many stories from women who have had abortions.

It became clear to me that while the media says that abortion is positive, they ignore the horrible impact it has on women, and families.

How have you been marching on for life since January?

I had the opportunity to write an essay about my experience at the March for Life and was able to read it at my church and have it published in our diocesan newspaper, to spread the truth about the March and abortion.

I’m also speaking at a Walk for Life in my town, and at a rally at my school this fall.  Not many people know about the March for Life, so it will give me an opportunity to share my experiences and what I learned about abortion and its impact on women.

How do you see yourself being involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

I hope to keep attending the March for Life – until we don’t have to march anymore!  And I want to keep talking about the March and sharing the pro-life cause to help people understand what a huge problem abortion is.

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Stick to what you believe in, and keep working at it!  By doing that, people will see the reason why you do what you do, and hopefully you can join them to the pro-life cause.

 

 

Marching On: Sean Maguire

Our second installment in our “Marching On” blog series, features Sean Maguire.  Sean, from Lynchburg, Virginia, is a second-year law student at Liberty School of Law.  If you are interested in sharing your “Marching On” story, please contact us HERE.  We may share it on our blog or social media!  

Read Sean’s story and inspiring words below:

When did you first come to the March for Life?

My first trip to the March for Life was my freshmen year of college in 2010.  I had become president of our pro-life club on campus, and organized a trip, even though I didn’t know what we were doing!  But I knew it was important, so we just learned as we went.  I’ve been going to the March for Life every year since.

What was your biggest take-away from this past March for Life?

My March for Life experience this year was a bit different.  A friend in my group had twisted her ankle, so we decided to do the march on our own prior to the official start.  It was a great opportunity to be reflective, and to have a quiet, prayerful time, even amidst the busy city and growing crowds.  We also got to see some of the groups on display, which was a great reminder of how many groups are out there with which to be involved!  We then ran into some 40 Days for Life folks from our local area – that was a reminder that while the pro-life movement is vast, it’s a small world too, and there are so many people in our community with whom we can work together.

How have you been marching on for life since January?

I was able to help with the spring 40 Days for Life campaign in Roanoke, VA, in addition to doing sidewalk counseling outside an abortion facility, which is so meaningful.  I also had the opportunity to start an official pro-life group at my law school, and raise funds for the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center and Liberty Godparent Home.

This summer, I had the honor of interning for the Liberty Center for Law and Policy and was able to research and write memos and blogs on pro-life isues, as well as research and write a memo on unconstitutional local city rules that hinder pro-life activism.  I’ll be sending that to the city council in hopes of getting a change that helps more people in Roanoke to be courageous for life.

How do you see yourself being involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

In many ways.  Right now, I will continue to encourage other students to get involved, and get connected.  In the long term, I see myself being involved politically and legally, in ways similar to my Roanoke city rules project. I want to spend my entire life making sure pro-life laws and policies are passed, and fighting those that laws that destroy life and hinder religious liberty. 

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Wherever you are, get involved.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel either, just join an organization or group, but don’t limit yourself.  There’s so much you can do right around you, for example, do a 5K fundraiser for your local pregnancy resource center.  Just do something. 

Note: After the 2013 March for Life, Sean’s pro-life group made this video:

Marching On: Rachel del Guidice

 

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since the March for Life! Which means it’s also six months until January 22, 2015 and we’re certainly busy with plans for the 42nd March for Life. At this mid-point in the year, we want to highlight a few stories of young people and how they have “marched on” for life after January, and how the March for Life has impacted their lives and those around them.

Our first interview is with Rachel del Guidice. She’s from Ashland, Ohio, and is currently a junior at Franciscan University majoring in Communications and minoring in Journalism.

Rachel, in middle, with friends at 2014 March for Life

(Rachel, in middle, with friends at the 2014 March for Life)

When did you first come to the March for Life?

My first year at the March for Life was 2006, I believe, and I was 12 years old! I’ve been every year since with either my church or my school.

What was your biggest take-away from this past March for Life?

Molly Anne Dutton’s story really impacted me. Stories like hers are what will change people’s hearts and minds because they touch the heart. Molly Anne’s story shows how the culture of death can be rejected. And of course, just being part of the event. It’s inspiring and the pictures don’t do it justice.

How have you been marching on for life since January?

I’ve been involved with my college’s abortion clinic outreach – we pray outside the clinic every Saturday.  It’s hard, but it’s so important to pray – not only for the people going into the clinic, but for everyone in our group. I was also inspired to intern for a pro-life organization. I was blessed with the opportunity to intern for the Family Research Council, a pro-life and pro-family policy and grassroots organization.

It’s definitely different for every person though – how they “march on” and impact their community. We are each called to witness to the cause of life, even if it is “just” praying.

How do you see yourself being involved in the pro-life movement in the future?

I’m not sure specifically, but I definitely want to be in a position with purpose, so that I can do something every day to impact our culture.

What’s your advice for fellow young people?

Don’t get deceived by the culture. Know where you came from, who you are and the reason why you do what you do. You have to search your heart every day and think about how you can make a difference.

 

Did you attend the 2014 March for Life? Were you inspired to “march on” for life back at your school or community? We would LOVE to hear your story too! You can submit a brief description of how you have “marched on” for life HERE. If your story is chosen, we will contact you to learn more about what you have been doing for the cause of life since January 22, 2014. We’ll feature you in a blog and on our social media, as a way of inspiring every Marcher. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Marching On: 40 Days for Life

Even though it doesn’t seem like it for much of the United States, spring IS just around the corner.  The Lent season is upon us as well, beginning tomorrow as Christians prepare for the celebration of Easter on April 20.  The first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, also marks the beginning of the spring campaign of 40 Days for Life: March 5 – April 13.  If you’re looking for a way to “march on” after your experience at the March for Life, or a regional March for Life event, we encourage you to participate in this powerful movement.

If you’re not familiar with it, 40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigils, and community outreach.  You can learn more and find a local campaign HERE.  

The 40 Days for Life movement is having a powerful impact around the country, because of faithful people who care deeply for the sanctity of life and desire to see an end to abortion in America – and around the world.  The fall campaign saw at least 476 babies saved from abortion!

As the March for Life President, Jeanne Monahan, so eloquently encouraged us at the March for Life rally, “No sacrifice is too great for this cause.”  If you are a praying person, take a leap of faith and sign up for a local 40 Days for Life campaign.  However, if it’s not the right fit for you, there are so many other ways you can continue to “march on” for life – check out these great suggestions, and let us know how it goes! We all have different gifts and talents, but we’re all united by one passion – ending abortion, saving lives, and building a culture of life!

Marching On

After the March for Life, we want you to keep “marching on” for life in your community!  One person can make a difference, and there are so many different ways to do this – we have provided a list of suggestions below.  You might also want to check out 15 Pro-Life Resolutions for 2014 from the Human Life Alliance.  We also want to hear your #MarchingOn stories – email us at info@marchforlife.org and your story could be featured on our website!

Support your local pregnancy center (PRC)

Pregnancy resource centers are on the front line of caring for women who are faced with an unexpected pregnancy.  Consider sponsoring a diaper drive for you local PRC, volunteering, or supporting financially.

You can read more about these centers on our educational resources.

Care Net, with its affiliate pregnancy centers, and through the Pregnancy Decision Line, helps prevent forced, coerced and otherwise unwanted abortions by promoting positive life choices. 

Heartbeat International works to inspire and equip Christian communities worldwide to rescue women and couples from abortion through the development of neighborhood pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and adoption services. 

Pray

Bound4LIFE is a grassroots prayer mobilization movement focused on the ending of abortion through public stands of silent prayer wearing Life Tape in front of courthouses and abortion centers around the nation.

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigils, and community outreach.

Counsel

Sidewalk Advocates for Life seeks to train, equip, and support local communities across the United States in “sidewalk advocacy”: to be the hands and feet of Christ, offering loving, life-affirming alternatives to all present at the abortion center, thereby eliminating demand and ending abortion.

Start a pro-life group at your school

Students for Life of America trains and equips college, high school, medical, and law school students so that they can defend unborn children and help their mothers on their campuses.  

Movie Screening

Screen a movie with a pro-life message such as “Bella,” “October Baby,” or “It’s a Girl,” for friends, family, your church, or your community and hold a discussion afterwards.