While the rest of the world is waiting anxiously for the upcoming election, the pro-life generation is voicing their opinion and their goal loud and proud for the world to hear. The Palatine March for Life, hosted on Saturday, October 17th, was a huge success, drawing hundreds from the Chicagoland area. The Palatine March for Life drew many different individuals and groups–each with their own mission and approach to the pro-life movement.
Knights of Columbus: The Knights of Columbus are a nationwide group including over 2 million Catholic men, who devote much of their time to “lead, serve, protect, and defend.” One Knight at the march for life mentioned that he had been involved in this group for about 9 years. He said about their ministry in the pro-life movement: “We try to raise awareness for the anti-abortion movement. What we want to do is educate people, persuade people, to not have an abortion.” Although their group is not solely about trying to end abortion, this issue is a huge part of their goal. He mentioned how they help at different pro-life marches, and especially are involved in pro-life vigils and prayer services.
American Heritage Girls: The American Heritage Girls is an organization that aims to empower girls and help them to live their faith through a “Christ-centered leadership development program.” These girls were well-educated and outspoken on the pro-life issues, and were happy to speak with me. When asked why they are pro-life, one young girl responded, “I’m pro-life because abortion’s wrong because it kills innocent babies. If murder’s wrong then abortion should be wrong too… that’s a life that God put a soul into.” The simplicity but clarity of that statement is inspirational, and another one of her friends backed her up. She mentioned how babies in the womb are so vulnerable and helpless, “The baby can’t defend itself… it’s up to the mother to defend it.” Her younger sister expanded on this, saying, “I think abortion is killing people… the constitution says that you should not kill anyone, like in the Commandments.” The simplicity, clarity, and zeal of these young girls- some of the youngest people at the March- was really eye-opening. They were vocal, peppy, and excited about what they were marching for, they believed in the cause, and weren’t going to stop for anyone or anything. This is an attitude we should all aspire to imitate.
Aid for Women: Aid for Women is an organization centered around the Chicagoland area that offers incredible resources, counseling, aid, and shelter for women who are in need, especially pregnant women and new mothers. This group was present at the March for life, and two of their employees were interviewed. Their answers were very simple. One woman answered that she is pro-life, “Because I believe that life begins at conception and that all life should be protected.” The other woman expanded on that to explain more about Aid for Woman’s mission, saying, “I am pro-life because I do believe that life begins at conception, but specifically for the work that we do, women need to be empowered to choose life, they simply need some alternatives to choose life.” She said that Aid for Women provides five pregnancy care centers around Chicagoland, and two maternity homes that women can live with if they need extra care, or can’t afford anywhere else to live. Aid for Women works to support women in any way they can through the pregnancy, during the delivery, and for the first few years of the child’s life.
Shawna Webber: Shawna Webber is the Vice President of Students for Life at Lake County Community College, and was present with her dad at the Palatine March for Life. She is very articulate and outspoken about the pro-life issue, and was more than happy to answer interview questions. “The first and most important fundamental right is the right to life,” Webber begins. “It’s fundamentally proven that life begins at conception. It’s only been confirmed since the advent of cell-theory… and so we know that life begins at conception, a human life forms.” She explains that “There’s no definitive other point to where human life begins than at the moment of conception.” Webber personifies a beautiful, vibrant young woman who is passionately fighting for women’s’ most basic right: the right to life. She is doing this without apology, but with clear, respectful rhetoric, in order to present her opinions in an educated, dignified manner.
A Family: There were many families present at the March, and among them was a mother with her three children. She explained that this was their first large-scale pro-life event. “We believe it is horrible to kill a baby that has no choice itself,” the mother said, and they are there to witness to that truth. One of the children chimed in, asking, “How’s it okay to kill it when it’s inside the womb but not when it’s outside?”
Different groups of people, some individuals and some parts of larger organizations, all came together this past Saturday to stand for life. In the midst of possibly the most uncertain times of our lives, it is very powerful to be around people who stand for the same principles that we stand for, and it is more important than ever, in this integral election year, to voice our respect and support of the Culture of Life.