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A Student’s Perspective: March for Life 2014

On January 19, I journeyed twelve hours on a bus with my fellow Aquinas students to Washington D.C. Braving the cold winter temps, we joined thousands in our nation’s capital to represent society’s most vulnerable members.

In 1973, the Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the United States, which has continued to this day as a highly contested issue in our society. The pro-life movement works to protect the innocent, the vulnerable, and their efforts culminate at the annual March for Life, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade. Pilgrims and protesters, religious and secular, young and old join yearly in our nation's capital to promote the dignity of human life.

Aquinas College was proudly represented at this year’s March by a contingent of eighteen students from the Saints for Life club, accompanied by Aquinas Chaplain Fr. Stan Drongowski, O.P. After months of fundraising to defray costs, we journeyed through the night to Washington, D.C., with the Students for Life of Michigan. This statewide group, which promotes pro-life student activism in Michigan, filled two buses with students from Aquinas, Michigan State, Grand Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, and several other higher education institutions.

After sightseeing in the beautiful Washington D.C. downtown, many in our group attended a day-long, Students for Life of America Conference in neighboring Maryland. Hosting over 2,600 students, the conference presented dynamic speakers from across North America to discuss various facets of the pro-life movement and how we, as students, play an integral part in its success.

On the following day, January 22, thousands arrived on buses from distant reaches of the country to march on the National Mall, converging as witnesses to the sanctity of life at all stages. Our massive numbers moved peacefully, prayerfully through the streets towards the Supreme Court, filled with a quiet power of loving conviction. Arriving at the Supreme Court, we witnessed testimonies from those who have personally experienced abortions, describing the damaging effect it had in their lives.

While marching in Washington D.C. may well be a gesture of great importance, we could not forget the pro-life cause on the bus. We have been primed for a revolution of love - a Christ-like love for the unborn, their mothers, fathers, and all others who have been rendered vulnerable in our society. The Aquinas contingent was well aware of their responsibility as students, their duty to empower others through dialogue, education, and peaceful activism.

As a Catholic Dominican College, Aquinas belongs to a tradition that promotes the dignity of all human life. Yet this message cannot be passively acknowledged. We must educate ourselves, bring awareness to others, and provide love and support to those among us in need. Returning from D.C., it is our charge - our privilege - to foster a culture of life on campus and in our community.