And We Will Be Heard

Guest Blog by Angela Kim

I breathe in and out, watching my breath condense in the chill air. Stretched above like a sheet of ice, the sky shimmers as the sun struggles against the suppressing cold. Its heat warms the crowd only a little, beaten away by relentless winds. It is cold. And yet, despite the numbness in my fingertips, the shiver running through my body in an uncomfortable tremor, I cherish every moment, willing this day to last forever. After all, I dreamed of attending the March for Life for years now, and I finally made it.

Getting here has not been easy. For most people, it is a simple matter of piling in a car and driving to Washing D.C for the day, but I am limited. I do not have a car or a license, and I also do not have enough money to afford the $150 tickets offered by local pro-life groups. I had to find another way.

In the end, I traveled with a friend named Emily. We took a bus from Michigan to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where a friend let us stay the night. Then we joined a homeschool co-op’s bus that drove six hours to Washington, D.C, only to stay three to four hours and drive all the way back.

It was quite a long way to travel. But it was so worth it. As soon as we stepped off the bus and into the cold, chill air, I knew it was worth it.

zzzzangelakimI am standing in a crowd of people, smiling people wrapped warmly in jackets and scarves and hats. For a moment, I wonder how vast the crowd is, so I make my way to one side and stand on a three-foot wall, looking out. I cannot see the end of the crowd. It is a sea of people. Colorful signs and flags soar through the air. Music blares in the background, whispered prayers filling in any moment of near silence. I look around, and that’s when it hits me.

Everyone in this crowd is here for the same reason. Everyone here believes, more or less, the same thing. For years and years, I have been passionately against the injustice of abortion, and during these years, I felt so alone. But here I am, and here they are, in numbers greater than I could possibly imagine.

We march.

And we make a sound. This sound is a song, a cry, a chant, a speech, and a prayer. It is thousands of voices speaking at once, speaking the same thought, the same belief. We make this sound for those who cannot make such a sound themselves. We make this sound and every political person in Washington D.C cannot avoid hearing it. President Barack Obama himself cannot but hear our voice. And it doesn’t stop there. Our shouts and our cries for justice then continue to roll across the nation and across the world.

We make this sound for the unborn. And we will be heard.

I would like to take a moment and encourage you to attend the March for Life this year, no matter the distance it takes to get there. I traveled several hundred miles to spend a few hours at the March, and it was definitely worth it. The opportunity is so rare, the impact so tremendous, that I could hardly believe it. Really, the March for Life isn’t about marching itself or about being pro-life. It’s about truth. And, truthfully, abortion is unjust. It’s wrong. It’s murder. And it is our job to stand together in great numbers and remind the world of this.

I want to finish this piece with someone else’s words. I am standing in a massive crowd all around a raised stage with speakers, cameras, screens, and a podium. This part of the day happens just before the march itself. You get the chance to listen to a number of amazing speakers. One speaker in particular stands out to me the most.

He says, “You may or may not know this. My birth mother was seventeen years old. She wasn’t married. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She was terrified… didn’t know what to do. And her dad and her church put her in the doors of a pregnancy resource center and people just like you opened their arms to her, showed her the love of Christ, and gave her an alternative. And I’m here and alive today because of this movement, and I’m here to say ‘thank you,’ and I will continue to say thank you until abortion is ended in the United States.”

 

Angela Kim is 18 years old and a student at Grove City College. Her life goal is to glorify God and end abortion in the United States. To stay up-to-date with her work, visit her blog at Journal of an Abolitionist or follow her on Twitter @MissAngelaAKim

 

 

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!