Last Friday, Jan. 14, 2020, more than 100,000 people gathered in D.C. to participate in the largest human rights demonstration in the world: The National March for Life. This movement began in 1974, one year after the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade made abortions legal at a federal level. Nellie Gray, a founder of the March, decided that the March would take place in D.C. every year until Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Among the marchers for 2020 were 48 Regent Royals! Regent Students for Life was privileged to bring this group of undergrads, faculty, law students, and even a couple of high schoolers who were willing to skip classes. Our group met at 6 a.m., took a four-hour bus ride, and walked in the cold for seven hours to speak up for the unborn. We rallied at the National Mall, where we got to participate in what was perhaps the most exciting pro-life rally in the 47-year history of the March.
The Mall itself was filled to capacity, with crowds stretching towards the Washington Monument as far as the eye could see and thousands more filling the space outside the Mall. The rally started with a musical opening from We Are Messengers, then featured a myriad of speakers ranging from local pro-life leaders to renowned theologians and politicians from both sides of the aisle.
The height of excitement came when President Trump made an appearance, marking the first time in March for Life history that a United States President has spoken at a March. The loudspeakers blasted God Bless the USA, the crowds went wild chanting “USA!” and Trump began his address: “We are here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.”
After President Trump, names like Katrina Jackson (State Senator of Louisiana), Jim Daly (President of Focus on the Family) and Alveda King (niece of Martin Luther King Jr.) took the stage. When the rally concluded with a prayer from David Platt (Pastor of McLean Bible Church), our group of Royals began the long march down Constitution Avenue with the masses uniting with us for Life. It was an incredible experience. We marched, we chanted, and we even sang hymns during our peaceful protest. The most inspiring part was the sense of unity that everyone felt with the people around them. Our group would start a cadence about saving the unborn and before we knew it everyone around us had joined in. We could look in any direction and see thousands upon thousands of people walking with us for the same cause. We knew that they too had sacrificed to be here. They had skipped class, taken off work, gotten two hours of sleep, and missed meals to be here just like we had. But there was nowhere else we wanted to be.
Dara Weisbrod, a first-time marcher, said, “It was completely worth the lack of sleep and the cold to know that we were pushing the pro-life movement forward. We weren’t standing by. It was incredibly encouraging to see thousands of people who are ready for Roe v. Wade to be overturned.”
After the March, we met up and loaded on the bus to go get dinner and go home. All in all, the March, the bus trip, and everything in between was a fantastic experience. Some of us are already planning for next year. Fredric Ericson, another first-time marcher, said on Sunday, “I’m still living off the rush of the weekend! No matter where I am in the world I’m always going to try to make it to D.C. in January!” Regent University Students for Life will be attending the Virginia March for Life on February 13, 2020 and is already planning for next year’s National March. We are incredibly grateful that the Lord allowed us to take the biggest group of Regent undergrads that SFL has ever seen, and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year!