Each January, Dominican students travel to Washington D.C. and participate in the National March for Life. As a part of the New Orleans Archdiocese, Dominican students and teachers traveled with a total of 650 travelers from New Orleans to march for the right to life.
Along with tens of thousands, the DHS pilgrims marched from Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court building. This year’s march marked the 47th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in all 50 states. Though many students understood the significance of the trip, they were unprepared for the true impact of the experience.
For senior Celeste Schonberg, it was awe-inspiring to see the number of people the march itself brings together. “I felt a sense of solidarity from all of the people coming from all over the nation to fight for a singular cause,” she said.
This cause, to be exact, is the fight to show that every human being has the right to life and therefore should not be killed by another entity. The march protests all infringements of the right to life, such as abortion and euthanasia.
Through rallies and events, Dominican marchers learned about what being Pro-Life means. On Jan. 23, students attended the Louisiana Right to Life Geaux Forth Rally. The event, held at the Warner Theater, was hosted by Ms. Mia Bordlee (’15) and Ms. Amanda Montesano, Co-Directors of the Louisiana Right to Life Youth Programs.
Ms. Montesano shared with the students and chaperones that she was the survivor of an abortion. As an adopted child, she had always assumed that her birth mother had chosen life for her. However, upon meeting her mother, Ms. Montesano learned the shocking reality of her birth.
Her birth mother told her that she had survived an attempted abortion. Ms. Montesano also learned the sad truth that she had a twin sibling whom she lost to the abortion. This tragic experience taught Ms. Montesano the true significance of life.
In addition to the speakers at the Geaux Forth Rally, Louisiana State Senator Ms. Katrina Jackson also stopped by share her thoughts on the March for Life as well as commend Louisiana for being the number one Pro-Life state in the nation.
Traveling from one rally to the next, students gained a deeper understanding of what is means to be Pro-Life. Ms. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, spoke to the crowd of 10,000 during the “Life is VERY Good” event. Although most of her family was massacred, her faith propelled her to forgive even those who committed the malicious crime. She left the students with this powerful message giving them not only the significance of life to think about but also everything that comes with it.
Unified, the students selflessly marched for life. Many said that they will cherish the memories they made during this trip.
“This trip encouraged me and affirmed my beliefs,” said junior Mackenzie Paradis. “The actual firsthand experience of marching for something I cared about so deeply gave me a breakthrough that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
- Olivia Olson