DC March for Life
by Christy Yao
I can honestly say the DC March for Life was more crowded than I ever remember it being, and I’ve been to the March close to 20 times. The American Solidarity Party marched with a group of other marchers who support a consistent-life ethic. Rehumanize International organized a rally before the March, which looked nothing like the main rally. The rally the Solidarity Party attended heard from atheists, members of the LGBT community, members of the disability community, and many others.
My two favorite speakers at the Rehumanize Rally brought two of my favorite things with them: a baby and a textbook. Emily Gargani spoke while holding her seven-month-old son Ambrose. Emily is a pro-life nurse, whose beliefs were placed into action when she and her husband found out during an ultrasound that their son had a heart defect. Emily explained how she then had to fight for her son to stay alive, both before and after he was born. Ambrose had surgery when he was just a few days old, and is now doing well. He looked cute as a button in his winter coat, “marching” for the rights of babies like him.
The theme of the March this year was “Pro-Science Pro-Life”. Sarah Terzo, a member of both Secular Pro-Life and the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL), as well as a writer for Live Action, gave a speech that echoed this. She brought an embryology textbook with her to show that one does not need to be religious to be pro-life. The science is there to tell us that life begins at conception. The unborn is a person whether it is an embryo, zygote, or nine-month-old fetus. The state of development a person is in does not determine her worth.
In my opinion, Rehumanize International always has the best signs. The sign used this year was first made for the Science March of 2017, with textbook citations on how life begins at conception. The backs of the signs had creative hand-made drawings and slogans on them. The one I was carrying said “Abortion is a tool of the patriarchy.” I don’t think there’s a sign in this world I would rather carry. I was all too happy to let my male colleagues carry the ASP signs while I expressed why being a pro-life feminist is so important to me.
After the March, ASP members gathered at the Southeast Neighborhood Library for a discussion led by the Consistent Life Network. Most of the participants in the discussion also were at the Rehumanize Rally, so it was nice to go more in depth on many of the topics that had been brought up at the rally. We discussed both the history, present, and future of the Consistent Life and Pro-Life movements and how we can really make abortion history.
After the discussion, the ASP invited all those at the discussion to come to dinner across the street at a DC favorite, District Taco. Between bites of burritos, the discussion kept flowing about how to further integrate pro-life and pro-peace messages. With a full stomach and a fuller heart, I went home to rest up for representing the ASP the next day at Georgetown’s Cardinal O’Connor Conference.
The Cardinal O’Connor Conference drew students from as far as Sydney, Australia. It was interesting to have students from all around the world share their opinions on the ASP. Some had heard of us, but many had not. The response was overwhelmingly positive from the students we talked to. Many college students agreed that both major parties weren’t getting much done in Washington, and we need a change. It was very heartwarming to see so many young people so passionate about finding comprehensive solutions to ending the crisis of abortion.
The part of the conference I enjoyed most was when I got to sneak away from the ASP table to listen to Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life. I’ve heard Foster speak twice before, and each time I have learned more about the cause I’m so passionate about. While she was being introduced, Foster shook hands with many of us in the front rows of the Georgetown Bioethics Library, giving her speech a much more informal feel. I really liked that, and think it made students feel much more comfortable around such an influential woman. Foster told the story of how just 57 people in the National Organization for Women voted to make being pro-choice a part of mainstream feminism, and part of the pro-life feminist Alice Paul’s Equal Rights Amendment. If just 57 people could change history in such a dramatically flawed way, how many people will it take to fix NOW’s mistake?
That is where I think of the ASP. We have so much potential for being world-changers- for taking the message of being “pro-life for the whole life” to the streets. If 57 people could make abortion mainstream, how many will it take of us to make it unthinkable? After all, we have the benefit of science and truth on our side.