Students and alumni of the University of Dallas participated in a variety of events last week to recall the anniversary of the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade and to celebrate life in all its forms.
These events included the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Texas Rally for Life in Austin and an on-campus memorial at the Church of the Incarnation.
The March for Life is the largest pro-life event in the world, according to the event’s website, which states its mission is to create a world in which “every human life is valued and protected.”
Because of the united efforts of all of the rally’s participants, Camille Salazar, class of 2013, went on the march for her second time this year.
“I go because I believe in the power of solidarity,” Salazar said. “I believe in the celebration of life. This year, it started snowing a little before the march began. It was extremely cold, but the joy of every single pro-lifer marching just radiated warmth. Cliché, but I think every person really showed that life is worth celebrating no matter the circumstance.”
Salazar, a full-time pastoral missionary for the Catholic lay ministry Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL), said the experience of marching in Washington D.C. is a very unique, surreal one. She encourages students to attend the rally to witness for themselves the reality of the pro-life cause, as participants in the march.
“It is definitely a celebration of life, but when you decide to go, you’ll also see the reality of the fight for life,” Salazar said. “You’ll see the power of prayer, the two forces that are at play. You’ll realize that the issue of life and abortion is not political, but one that is essential to our humanity. Man was made to choose, defend and live life.”
Other UD students and alumni decided to attend the Texas Rally for Life in Austin which is the largest pro-life gathering in the state.
Senior Elizabeth Hinchley said that her favorite part of the rally was the diversity of participants and the ability to interact with many different people and groups united by a common cause.
“Being pro-life is what brings us all together, and it’s a powerful experience to see people from all different backgrounds giving witness to the sanctity of life,” Hinchley said. “We even saw a pro-life pagan. It’s wonderful and encouraging to see all the diversity behind the pro-life movement. Despite what the popular media often claims, the pro-life movement is not a bunch of elderly conservative men forcing their views on women; the pro-life movement is a wonderfully diverse collection of members of the human race who all believe in the value of human life and are willing to rise up and fight to protect each person’s right to life.”
Hinchley said the connections she was able to make with others during the rally were particularly important for encouragement and solidarity.
“The March is a place where pro-lifers can rally and be invigorated to continue fighting for life,” Hinchley said. “Sometimes we can become apathetic or discouraged, and the Marches for Life — whether local, state-wide or nation-wide — surround us with like-minded people. If someone has never been on the March for Life, I would highly encourage them to attend, as a March serves as a sort of retreat where one can surround himself or herself with other pro-lifers and be reinvigorated to continue the long battle to develop a culture for life.”
Students who did not attend rallies were able to stay on campus for a quieter remembrance of Roe v. Wade.
A memorial was held at the Church of the Incarnation Friday night.
Junior Brenna Rossi said that the memorial included an opening prayer for life and a recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
“It was just a very quiet, peaceful event,” Rossi said. “I think it was supposed to be very respectful of the children who have died.”
The Supreme Court decided the Roe v. Wade case on Jan. 22, 1973. Justices ruled 7-2 in favor of declaring unconstitutional those state laws that banned abortions except to save the life of the mother, according to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
Today the decision remains among the court’s most controversial and most widely recognized rulings.