Members of Boston College’s Pro Life Club attended the 44th annual March for Life on January 27, 2017 with close to a million of other pro-lifers from across the country and world. The March for Life is the nation’s largest peaceful protest for human rights. Every year people gather in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the passing of the Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion on January 22, 1973. Attendance was estimating at 750,000, which is the most out of any year. The majority of the people who attended the March were high school and college students and young adults, as well as many families.
Before the March for Life started there was a rally that started at noon at which various speakers spoke encouragingly about pro-life issues. Cardinal Dolan of New York City, Benjamin Watson, tight end for the Baltimore Ravens, and Vice President Mike Pence spoke about the his support of the pro-life movement and that the new administration would work to align itself more closely with the views of the pro-life movement. This was the first time that a sitting Vice President attended the March for Life rally. He spoke words of hope, telling of the government’s plans to pass pro-life legislation.
After the rally, the march started. A group of students from Boston College walked the streets of Washington D.C. with hundreds of thousands of other people holding signs with slogans such as “Pro-Woman, Pro-Love, Pro-Life,” “I Stand for Life,” “Adoption not Abortion,” and “A person’s a person no matter how small”. During the March for Life some people were chanting, others were praying the rosary, and still others were talking to those around them and sharing why they were at the march.
The March itself ends at the top of the hill from which a sea of people is visible. The size and energy of the March was enormous and kept even those who had traveled through the night to get there awake.
On the next day, Students for Life of America held their National East Coast Conference for high school and college students. The conference included two sessions by John Brahm of the Equal Rights Institute, a pro-life apologist who advised attendees on the best strategies to reach out to pro-choice students on campus. In addition, Casey Mattox, Director of the Center Academic Freedom, offered his perspective on the rights of pro-life people and groups in college campuses. The afternoon included a number of breakout sessions, including resources on how to start “Pregnant on Campus” chapters. “Pregnant on Campus” is an initiative to aid pregnant women and young mothers on campus.
The conference concluded with Abby Johnson, founder of the “And Then There Were None,” an initiative aimed at offering help to workers of abortion clinics who want to leave the abortion industry. Johnson used to be the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic until she changed her position on abortion and proceeded to become a whistleblower regarding the practices inside Planned Parenthood centers. She was joined by another former Planned Parenthood center director, who had quit not long before the conference after someone had put a “And Then There Were None” business card on her car. Addressing the crowd, the former director broke down in tears at being able to escape her job, which according to her contributed to her addiction to alcohol. After this, awards for outstanding Students for Life chapters were distributed.