On the snowy morning of Jan. 27, hundreds of Michiana residents — school children, college students, professionals, monks and more — took to the streets of downtown South Bend to protest Roe v. Wade and demonstrate for the pro-life cause.
Many Notre Dame students are aware of the March for Life, an annual gathering of thousands of pro-life protestors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But those unable to travel to D.C. were still able to show their support for life in South Bend.
Among the throngs of people were students of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College and Holy Cross College. Saint Mary’s College student Courtney Mills says, “I decided to participate in the March for Life because I was fortunate enough to be given the chance at life … My mother’s pregnancy with me was by no means ideal, but I am forever thankful that she gave me a chance to make a difference in the world.”
The South Bend March for Life began with a collection of speeches, prayers and songs discussing everything from adoption to protecting the homeless. One man led a prayer and compared the day’s mission — designed to bring down “societal walls” — to Joshua’s march around the wall of Jericho.
Those who gathered were encouraged to protest peacefully and show respect for dissenters. The packed room rang with chants as the crowd rehearsed for the march: “We are the pro-life generation,” “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go” and “What do we want? Life! When do we want it? Now!”
Then the marchers, ready to brave the cold, issued forth from the building and poured onto the sidewalk. Chanting, cheering and waving their banners, the protesters proceeded through downtown South Bend, across the St. Joseph River and toward the courthouse, where they eventually occupied all four corners of the street. Several citizens passing by in their cars honked their horns in support and reporters followed the marchers throughout, cameras in hand.
The March remained peaceful from start to finish.
“I am proud of my mom who was very young and had to grow up quickly and put her education and lifestyle aside. She faced unimaginable struggles to give me the life that I have,” Mills says. “I am very thankful for the chance I have been given and I march for those who have their chances taken from them.”