Pilgrim's Journal: Is It Worth It?

Amid Drizzle and Cold, Protestors Affirm Hope

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By Mary Yep

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Despite the chilling temperatures and the steady drizzle of rain, the annual March for Life attracted around a quarter of a million participants. Parents, youth leaders, rabbis, pastors, seminarians, religious and so many other people from all faiths and walks of life convened in D.C. today, from various parts of the United States and countries such as Canada, Paraguay, Australia and Belgium.

This year’s March for Life marks the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States. 

Like many universities and colleges around the country, the Catholic University of America organized a group of students, faculty and religious to participate in the March for Life. Before taking the metro downtown into the city, the students gathered for a small rally hosted by the Students for Life group on campus. It was horrifying to hear how, since 1974, 54 million babies have been killed in the name of choice. One third of my generation has been wiped out. Since the legalization of abortion, I have one third fewer potential friends, one third fewer classmates, one third fewer birthday parties to attend. The students listened intently as John Garvey, the president of the university, spoke about the importance of fighting for the preservation of the sanctity of life. Garvey and his wife accompanied the university students on the march. The Catholic University of America had the largest group of students attending the march out of all the universities in the country. 

There was a rally held at the beginning of the March in which Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered the opening remarks. Before and after the rally, it was exciting to see the people gradually gathering. Slowly, it began to drizzle. The cold drops of rain only intensified the misery of the already chilling temperature. I asked myself if I thought it was all worth it. Yes, it was. I looked around at the sea of faces around me: cold, wet, tired. Nevertheless, they were present. When conversing with the individuals around me, all admitted that being able to participate in this March for Life was entirely worth their time and sacrifice. 

Along the way toward the Supreme Court, there was a medium-sized screen that depicted graphic footage of the helpless, innocent victims of abortion. Those grotesque images were difficult to view, but they were instrumental in inspiring all the participants to keep walking as a testimony for these babies who had not been given a voice or a chance at life. 

Toward the end of the March, I looked backward down a hill and was astonished at how massive the sea of participants was. As far as the eye could see, there were moving dots, arrayed in various colors and holding a variety of signs, flags and banners. Despite our differences in race, faith or backgrounds, we were all united in one mission. 

It wasn’t uncommon to see lines of women holding signs that read «I regret my abortion.» Looking into the teary eyes of each of these women, I asked myself what words I could say to them. Each woman conveyed the deep sorrow and remorse she felt. Many of the marchers exchanged hugs with these women. Despite the awfulness of abortion, I thought, there is hope and redemption. 

In spite of our numb fingers, tired legs and wet clothes, our spirits were not dampened. We reached the Supreme Court along with so many other young people, full of enthusiasm and hopeful for the future. If all of the day’s sacrifices, prayers and efforts saved even just one baby’s life, then it was worth it. 

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Mary Yep is an Illinois native in her first year of nursing studies at the Catholic University of America.

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