WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tens of thousands of pro-life activists — a large percentage of whom appeared to be high school and college aged — converged in the nation’s capital on Friday to take part in the 46th annual March for Life.
The gathering was bolstered by the presence of so many young people who said in interviews they are passionate about defending the unborn.
“Our generation is the generation that needs to stop abortion so we can have more people fighting for other people’s rights, and love, and happiness, and the pursuit of all dreams that everyone has,” said Southeastern Louisiana University student Karley Bordelon.
Bordelon traveled to D.C. alongside her fellow College Republicans at Southeastern Louisiana University (pictured above) to show their support for the march. The group of students told The College Fix in interviews they are willing to fight and be vocal about the controversial issue.
“I think it’s important that young people speak up and talk about these issues, because we are going to be inheriting America, and it’s important that we are preserving it,” said Southeastern Louisiana University junior Colin Schmidt.
Mollie Millet, another SELU student in the group, added: “In our Constitution is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, emphasis on life.”
In addition to College Republicans, a wide swath of groups were represented at the march, including a mix of Catholic and Christian student organizations, as well as members of Feminists for Life and Secular Pro-Life groups, and even some young Democrats.
“It was so inspiring everyone can come together from different backgrounds. We have friends here who are Democrats. I know atheists who are pro-life,” Evelyn Munsterman, 19, a freshman at James Madison University who studies engineering, told The Washington Post, adding that at school she feels “shut down” whenever she tries to talk about abortion.
Anna Haberdash and Megan Huether, seniors at the University of Missouri who are part of the national organization of Students for Life and make the trip annually to Washington to show their support, told The College Fix the day offers camaraderie and support.
“We are the pro-life generation, our generation is largely pro-life, I think there is kind of a notion of the pro-life movement being old white men, so I think it’s important to be here as a college student and represent our generation,” Haberdash said.
“The stigma is that young people aren’t pro-life — when really we are the most pro-life generation,” added Huether.
— GW YAF (@GWYAF) January 18, 2019
According to Haberdash and Huether, their presence is also critical in counteracting the influence that organizations like Planned Parenthood have over college students.
“I think the abortion industry arguably targets college campuses a lot, and so it’s really important for us to be out here because it’s really affecting our friends and our communities,” Huether said.
“If you look at where clinics are placed, like on my campus personally, Planned Parenthood is right down the road, and I think you’ll see that trend throughout the country,” Huether said. In addition, Planned Parenthood just started a new initiative at the University of Missouri, she added.
“They’re getting their message across and so I think it’s just as important that we’re getting our message across because if only one message is being conveyed then people don’t have a choice, they’re just being shown one option,” Huether said.
Even those who could not make the trek noticed how energized young people were at the march.
Los Angeles-based journalist Elisha Krauss tweeted this out: “My mom’s texts from the #MarchForLife are amazing. ‘THERE’S SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE!!! I’m so hopeful for our future!’”
My mom’s texts from the #MarchForLife are amazing. “THERE’S SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE!!! I’m so hopeful for our future!”
— Elisha (@ElishaKrauss) January 18, 2019
The theme of this year’s march was “Unique from Day One,” and many young people made efforts to tout that, including Georgetown University student Sarah George.
— Sarah George (@georgiesc) January 18, 2019
One image seen going viral on social media included a young pro-life feminist holding the sign: “When our liberation costs innocent lives it is merely oppression redistributed.”
Excellent photo of a pro-life feminist from @jenfulwiler
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) January 18, 2019
The march included speakers such as Ben Shapiro and Vice President Mike Pence, who energized the crowd with words of encouragement amid freezing temperatures.