A group of Newman University students traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to participate in a peaceful demonstration designed to raise awareness of and promote an end to abortion. Normally the March for Life is held Jan. 22, but due to the Presidential Inauguration the date of the march was moved. Jan. 22 is a significant date because on that date in 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v Wade that abortion is legal in all 50 states.
According to March for Life’s website, their mission “is to provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person” and “to communicate this message to the government, the media and the nation in a way that is powerful and life affirming.”
In the 44 years since the Supreme Court’s decision, the March for Life has grown to encompass tens of thousands of people from all across the nation. Newman student Luke Sponsel, who attended the march, said “I learned that it is our cause as a Christian people to love those who disagree with us. Some marches are done because of self-absorption but this one was different. It was my first time attending and from the very beginning it was humbling. The speakers spoke about kindness and compassion, a takeaway lesson for a lifetime.”
One of the speakers was Vice President Mike Pence. According to the group’s website, Pence is the first Vice President to speak at the demonstration. In his speech he began by citing the Declaration of Independence and the emphasis that it places on life. He further emphasized multiple times that “life is winning again in America” and will be won through compassion.
Sponsel called to mind that the history of Newman University is built upon the advocation for women's education by St. Maria De Mattias. The echoes of St. Maria’s teaching resonate through this march in the hopes of educating in the cause for the sanctity of life.
Sponsel spoke to his peers' sentiments that they all were grateful for having the opportunity to march for the unborn, the disabled, mentally handicapped, the healthy, and for those who could not make it. “Representing our university was an honor,” Sponsel said “The march is more than a walk down a road; it is the appreciation of life.”