BY LEXI GROSS
On Friday, January 19th, thousands of Americans from across the nation gathered in Washington D.C. for the 45th annual March for Life. Families and workers of all different backgrounds came to support the pro-life movement on the National Mall. This rally is held every year around the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which recognized a legal right to abortion.The purpose of this movement is to call upon the United States government to rededicate itself to our most basic right- the unalienable right to life.
The rally started at noon with various speakers such as religious sisters there to affirm the marchers. Mothers who debated getting abortions who eventually chose not to also shared their stories of how not aborting their child changed their lives for the better.
This year, President Donald J. Trump spoke via live stream, marking the first time in history a U.S. president has spoken at the March for Life. Many said they considered this to be taking a historic step for this movement.
“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life,” Trump stated in his speech that was broadcasted from the White House.
After the speeches and words of encouragement, marchers took to the streets and started marching towards Capitol Hill. Included in the march was first witness and University of Nebraska Kearney student, Claire Rasmussen, who said the experience was powerful.
“It is a powerful thing to see first hand that you share the same beliefs with so many people and even more that couldn’t make the trip to Washington,” said Rasmussen. “It’s even more powerful to do something about your belief to end abortion.”
An estimated 100,000 people turned up to march this year. The March for Life event has significantly grown since its first march in 1974. Its first year estimated an attendance of 20,000 goers. In 2013, there was an estimated 650,000. Even in the year of 2016, a blizzard that dropped 24 inches of snow didn’t even stop the marchers. This rally continues to grow and gain more attention every year and continues to inspire and have a change of heart on others.
“So many chants, cheers and prayers filled the air,” said Rasmussen. “It is just so empowering and inspiring.”
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