A half-century of disregard for life

By Sean Hightower, St. Paul’s School

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, changed America forever with its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which  legalized abortion. 

Every year since then, hundreds of thousands have gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest the decision by “Marching for Life.” This march is an important way to keep alive the cause for life  in the U.S. because it  fights for all women who are reluctant to keep their unborn child. 

This year, I attended the March for Life with my school, St. Paul’s, traveling for nearly 24 hours in a caravan of 10 buses from the Archdiocese of New Orleans to D.C. The northshore group left St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Slidell Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. and arrived Jan. 16 to a welcome rally with music and guest speakers.

At the Geaux Forth 2019 Louisiana Right to Life Rally in the Warner Theater, multiple abortion survivors and victims introduced us to abortion facts –  the number of abortions by state and region, how many are performed per day and the facts about the life inside the womb. This rally prepared us to stand up for what we believe in, even through controversy. 

After the inspiring rally, we walked to the nearby White House and, later, toured the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The building itself has a large metal structure extending from its roof at the exact angle of the Iwo Jima Memorial’s flag. This day, we had a rare opportunity for Southerners – we got to play in snow! That night, we attended the Life is Very Good rally, with speakers, music  and eucharistic adoration at EagleBank Arena on George Mason’s campus.

On the march day, Jan. 18, we celebrated Mass with  Archbishop Aymond at Blessed Sacrament Church in Arlington, Virginia. Our New Orleans group stood out – walking together in our purple caps imprinted with the Archdiocese of New Orleans – while joining other youth. We sang chants against abortion and held pro-life posters. There were so many people on the street that it was hard to imagine that anyone could argue against us. 

At the Supreme Court building, I looked down the hill to witness a daunting sea of pro-life advocates, just like us. We then said a decade of the rosary in front of the Supreme Court for all those contemplating or being affected by abortion. 

That evening was filled with inspirational singing and adoration at the hotel.

Before heading home the next day, we visited the National Mall with memorials to World War and presidents Washington and Lincoln, and stopped at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – the largest in the nation and with dozens of side chapels dedicated to a different title for Mary – and the St. John Paul II National Shrine to celebrate Mass before journeying home.

Sean Hightower is a senior at St. Paul’s School in Covington. 

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