WASHINGTON, January 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. just days away, pro-life groups, church parishes, colleges, and thousands of North Americans are preparing to head to the nation’s capital to demand that the government protect the lives of the unborn.
This year marks the 38th anniversary since the infamous Roe vs. Wade case that struck down laws restricting abortion in America. Once again, hundreds of thousands are expected to descend on Washington, and reports are surfacing from across the country of local pro-life groups and individuals doing their part, whether large or small, to ensure that the crowd sizes are as massive as ever.
In Southern California, Carmen Trujillo, long active in local right-to-life efforts, is spearheading the effort to bring as many fellow pro-life colleagues as possible to Washington. Trujillo’s group is chartering buses and planes to attend both the local march in Sacramento as well as the national event, reports The Tidings Online.
“We pray that all who oppose abortion, the greatest moral evil of our time, can join forces with us in our unique work of witnessing on behalf of defenseless lives and souls,” she said. “Most importantly, we must make time on these crucial days to pray for the over 50 million children who have been aborted over the past 38 years and for the future success of the Pro Life movement.”
The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has announced that thousands will be in attendance at the march from their state. As is the case with so many other groups attending the event, young Pennsylvanians are expected to be at the forefront.
“This survivor generation has experienced the tragic consequences of Roe v. Wade’s painful legacy,” said Maria Vitale, Education Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “There are brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends who are not alive today as a result of abortion on demand … These young people want this senseless slaughter to end.”
Another group from Pennsylvania, People Concerned for the Unborn Child, is preparing to send the largest contingent in the country to the march – 120 bus-loads. Mary Lou Gartner, PCUP’s volunteer coordinator for the March for Life, has been organizing the trip for over 30 years.
Meanwhile, in North Dakota, a group of 25 young people from Catholic parishes in the region will be heading to Washington from Fargo. Rachelle Sauvageau, director of the Fargo diocese’s respect for life office, mourned the fact that she can only take up to 30 people. “This year I turned some kids down. The maximum we can take is about 30 people; because of where we stay, that’s all the room they have,” she told The Grand Forks Herald.
Yesterday, the Dubuque County Right to Life of Iowa issued a press release announcing that almost 400 Dubuque area residents will be boarding seven buses to travel to Washington, DC and participate in the March for Life. There will be at least another 300 people from Iowa traveling as well as part of other pro-life delegations. The delegation from the Dubuque area will include middle school, high school, and college students.
“I am excited to see so many boys and girls traveling to take part in this pilgrimage,” said Steven Brody, Executive Director of Dubuque County Right to Life.
The 2011 March for Life schedule includes events geared to the many youth participants. A giant Youth Rally and Mass for Life will take place in the morning, prior to the march, and the first National Pro-Life Youth Rally will commence in the afternoon. Well-known Christian Rock Band BarlowGirl will star as headliner for the afternoon rally.
“It is our hope and prayer,” said Becca Barlow, guitarist for BarlowGirl, “that our participation and performance will encourage youth to speak out and be compassionate for LIFE and Christ-like in their efforts to restore protection for all children in the womb.”
Another huge contingent at the March for Life will be the college and university students that travel from numerous states to represent their schools.
Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH expects to have over 800 students, alumni, and friends present to represent the University. The students will gather under a large Franciscan University banner with the Scripture verse, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I dedicated you” (Jer. 1:5).
During the weekend leading up to the march, members of Franciscan University’s Students for Life club will be involved with leading a pro-life retreat for teens in the D.C. area.
Another College, Christendom College, in Virginia, is taking the entire day off of classes in order to send their entire student body to Washington. As well, 25% of the student body from one Canadian Catholic college, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, will also be in attendance.
This year’s March for Life kicks off two days prior to the actual march, with a three-day March for Life Convention beginning on Saturday, and the Students for Life of America National Conference and the Opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life on Sunday, among other events.
During the evening following the march, the March for Life Rose Dinner will feature Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as the keynote speaker.
For a complete schedule of events click here.
For More Information on the National March for Life: