Students participate in annual March for Life
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Washington D.C. - This past weekend, 31 Boston College student members of the BC Pro-Life Club traveled to the nation's capital to attend the annual March for Life.
The weekend's events, beginning with Saturday's American Collegians for Life conference and workshop at the American Catholic University and culminating in Monday's march, touched upon a variety of pro-life issues beyond simply abortion.
According to Christine Friedrich, BC Pro-Life president and A&S '08, the club had specific goals going into the event.
"This weekend was all about leadership development within the club and just educating ourselves about different activities that we could do and others ways of strengthening the club."
Twenty-five BC students attended the conference, which included a number of speakers, such as Rev. Frank Pavone, S.J. and Frederica Matthews Green, all of whom educated their audience about the importance of respecting life from birth until death.
According to Michael Camacho, A&S '09, the conference opened with a lecture by a famous bio-ethicist.
"He talked about the different facets of the pro-life message, apart from abortion, in terms of stem cell research, cloning, threats to life, so to speak," said Camacho.
In this respect, the event helped to broaden the definition of "pro-life" into more than just a synonym for anti-abortion. One specific workshop dealt with the question of how the pro-life movement can work to ally itself with individuals who are opposed to these other issues, such as cloning, and to find a common ground with people who may be pro-choice.
The students were very enthusiastic about the conference.
"We were happy to hear from the most active pro-life advocates. The speakers came from diverse backgrounds," said Jeff Jozefski, A&S '08.
"It was empowering," said Emily Reeves, A&S '08. "One woman spoke about her everyday commitment to counseling and educating women outside of abortion-referral clinics in Northern Ireland. She works every day to preserve life, and so should we."
Danielle Huntley, A&S '06, who helped plan the conference, was chosen as president of American Collegians for Life, now Students for Life of America, and she will be in charge of organizing the event next year.
On Sunday night, the students attended Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Keeler and other cardinals, bishops, and more than 500 priests, with over 6,000 people in attendance.
The next morning, after having breakfast and Mass together, the BC students, carrying pro-life signs, walked past the Supreme Court building along with other Jesuit schools in the annual March for Life.
In addition, there were many high school students, adults, and children from across the country who took part.
Friedrich, who was participating in the walk for the seventh time, said of the numbers, "It's usually around 100,000 people that show up for it and that's huge, just seeing so many other people who are supporting the same issue as you are."
Camacho expressed that same sense of awe.
"It took us about an hour just to get in the line to march, there were that many people," he said. "And the march itself took maybe an hour and a half. I thought it was really cool seeing how many people were out there. I was just one person marching, but as a part of a bigger group. It was certainly a great experience and feeling."
As a result of their experiences at the conference and March for Life this weekend, the members of BC Pro-Life are looking toward the future, ready to implement their new knowledge here at BC.
"We're planning a Respect Life Week, currently the third week of February, and we're hoping to do a few activities that were mentioned [at the conference]. We're also hoping to become more active and bring more speakers to campus," said Friedrich.