Seniors Lily Foley and Shania McAmis joined the large crowd in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 27 in the annual pilgrimage to the “March for Life.” Reports of the attendance range from 60,000 to 800,000 marchers, and Foley said she believes the real number to be closer to the latter.
“It is profound to be in a crowd with so many people who are fighting for the same thing I was,” Foley said.
Foley and McAmis joined the Archdiocese of Omaha group and travelled on busses with other high school and college students. The group of almost 250 from Nebraska marched together and prayed together. It was part of the annual 5-day pilgrimage. According to archomaha.org, the group visited holy and historical sites while learning about the pro-life movement and growing in their faith. Some students attended with their parish youth groups and some with their high school Pro-Life clubs. Foley and McAmis officially registered with St. Vincent de Paul parish in Omaha.
McAmis explained that their bus had students from other parishes, but also from schools like Columbus Scotus, Mercy, Duchesne and Gross. “There were many powerful moments from the Life is Very Good Evening of Prayer to the actual march and prayer outside a Planned Parenthood clinic,” McAmis said.
“While at the march, there were women holding signs saying how they regretted their abortions. Also, while at the Planned Parenthood, there were teeenagers walking into the clinic, and that made a lot of us realize how real of issue this is,” she said.
Foley had a similar moving experience. “We saw ladies and gentlemen holding up signs that said ‘I regret my abortion’ and ‘I regret my lost fatherhood.’ They were, by far, the most admirable people there, and what powerful testimonies they were giving. It was so brave… About ten of us started hugging the people with the signs. At first, the people looked shocked. Then, they all started crying, and we did, too. It was like we were showing them how much we loved them and forgave them. I think it was an emotional experience for them. You could tell how much it meant to them. All of us cried: boys, girls, men and women. Then, an amazing thing happened. The marchers coming by took a slight detour so that everyone could come give them hugs. It was the best feeling ever.”
After Foley and McAmis marched in D.C., they and their church group traveled to Philadelphia to continue their pro-life journey. While they were praying outside of a Planned Parenthood, it began to snow. “The over 100 of us from Omaha simply stared at the sky for a while. It was like God had sent the snow, and it filled the air with hope,” Foley said.
“At the various shrines and basilicas, you could feel the amount of various prayers being said and how much everyone wanted to change,” McAmis said.
For more information visit #MarchForLife, #WhyWeMarch
“The main goal [of the March] is to have the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade reversed.” Foley said. “People protest Planned Parenthood not because of the women’s health care it provides, but because it does abortions. Nothing can justify taking a life.”
The March for Life began in 1974 with the ruling of Roe v. Wade which made abortion legal. Since then the March has happened every year on the anniversary of that ruling.