Pro V Con: March for Life proves life-changing

Pro V Con: March for Life proves life-changing

Emily Clarke and Scott Novak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Emily Clarke, Managing Editor

This is the pro argument for the March for Life.  To read the con argument, click here.

Religion teacher Rachel Harkins, megaphone in hand, started it.  She started a chant that said, “Roe v. Wade has got to go. Hey, hey. Ho, ho.”  Whether my fellow classmates actually believed in the cause or they were just caught up in the mood of the march, they began to chant alongside her. But soon enough it wasn’t just JC students who were yelling the rhyme: hundreds of people around us joined in. The chant had spread like wildfire.

It is said that things can change in a matter of minutes. After experiencing the magic of that moment, I can honestly say that’s true. I went from being on the fence about my views on pro-life verse pro-choice to being absolutely pro-life. It was amazing the way people who had never met could stand together for something they believed in. I wanted to be a part of that, so I grabbed a sign that said “defend life,” and  joined in.

The day that changed my views didn’t start with the March, however. First, I boarded a school bus at JC at five a.m. and drove with my classmates to Washington D.C. We arrived at the Verizon Center between seven and eight. Then, we went inside to hear speeches, pray, sing, and celebrate Mass.

For the first three hours, students from around the country filed in to fill up the 10,000 seats available while we listened to pro-life testimonies and religious songs. By 10 o’clock, I was bored and ready to fall asleep like my friend beside me had done. But then Mass started and the less than enthusiastic mood in the center changed – fast.

Upbeat music began as hundreds of priests, bishops, and seminarians proceeded in. The sea of white was surreal.  Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more of them filing in, twenty more appeared. When the bishop leading Mass finally approached the microphone on the stage, I was ready to pay attention.

The Mass started off with a bang when the bishop read off the names of the different bishops there and asked for the crowd to cheer when he called your diocese. The crowd went crazy, and it soon became a competition of who could cheer the loudest.

The bishop who was leading the ceremony had an infectious smile throughout all the cheers, and enthusiasm began to ooze from every inch of the stadium. There was no better way promote life other than enjoying it.

After that, Mass was relatively uneventful until the homily. The homily was given by Reverend Monsignor Charles Pope. He had a booming voice that instantly entranced the crowd, even the people who had been falling asleep woke up. He reeled the crowd in by talking about life and joy in general. He stated the importance of celebrating life to its fullest and asked the crowd if we agreed. The chorus of resounding “yes’s” was astonishing.

By the time Pope got into the topics of chastity and abortion, I can guarantee every single person in the crowd was listening. I was hanging on every word, and I really took to heart the message about adoption over abortion. I could tell I wasn’t the only one who did either.

He concluded his sermon by asking the crowd to close the homily by giving a cheer louder than the Verizon Center had ever heard, louder than a basketball game, a hockey game, or a concert. It was no surprise that he received one.

The Mass took around two hours altogether. Because of the energy and choose life enthusiasm, it seemed shorter than most Sunday Masses. After Mass, it was time for the March.

We went out to the streets, grabbed signs, and marched in the rain to D.C.’s Sculpture Garden and then to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court. The rain didn’t put a damper on any of the marchers’ moods. Rain or shine, the March was going to happen.

The beauty of the day could be seen in the faces of the marchers. Chants echoed out of the mouths of thousands. Almost every face had a smile upon it. People who had never met each other were talking and singing together to raise awareness for their cause. My friends and I even started a few chants.

Along our walk to Capitol Hill, I never once saw any protestors who were pro-choice, like I was warned there might be. However, I know there were people watching, whether in person or on television, who were on the fence like I had been. Knowing that, if I helped even one person choose life over abortion, then I feel like my day was successful.

Emily Clarke is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and