by Allison Donohue
Special to The Leaven
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On Jan. 27, the streets of Washington, D.C., were filled with upwards of 500,000 people. Some came from just hours away, others from nearly 30 hours away.
Yet they all gathered for one reason: life. The pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas were joined by tens of thousands of others from across the country. My simple question for them was this: Why do you march?
Yaneli Jacinto, a student from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas, had this to say: “I came here because every life matters. I think everyone deserves a chance at it.”
Marchers like Jacinto got to hear, for the very first time, a vice president address them at the rally. Vice President Mike Pence was the highest ranking government official to ever appear on the March for Life stage in the history of the march.
Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway also addressed the rally.
“I am a wife, a mother, a Catholic, counselor to the president of the United States of America and, yes, I am pro-life,” Conway told the cheering crowd.
Much like Conway, many of the girls on the March felt a special conviction at being there.
Mary Claire Bien, a junior from St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park, felt especially grateful that she was able to represent women at the march.
“It’s really cool to be a woman and stand up for what I believe in,” she said.
Grace Mayer, also a junior from St. Thomas Aquinas, has a long history of involvement in the pro-life cause.
“I became a firm believer when I got into high school,” she said. “I joined Teens for Life and I went on my first march in Topeka. That completely blew my mind. That made me an advocate for [life].”
Aquinas junior Madison Janky said the support of her Catholic school has been important to her own ability to advocate for the cause.
“A lot of people in our society have become pro-abortion,” she said. But in our Catholic schools, “we can all come together and support what we think.”
Jenna Vickers agreed.
“I am proud to be a pro-life person,” said Vickers. “I am proud to be a part of a school that stands up for this cause.”
Allison Donohue is the pro-life director of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.