As senior Tiffany Dawson stood bundled up in the cold outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. during the March for Life January 27, she realized she was part of something much bigger than herself.
She listened to junior Tricia Willoughby speak in front of thousands of other students about why the pro-life cause was worth fighting for, and lent her voice to chants that rang out clear and strong across the steps of the building where Roe vs. Wade was decided 43 years ago.
“It was an awesome experience to join the crowd’s loud cheers as speakers talked about equality and abolishing abortion,” she said. “Here were thousands of people who were on the side of life and love and equality, who were fighting for the lives of millions upon millions of innocent human beings, and I was one of them.”
University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver invited students from the Life139 club to attend the march last spring. 13 of them traveled to D.C. this February along with their club sponsor, Paul Mayer, director of health services at Union. Oliver attended as well, along with University Provost Ben Mitchell. Hundreds of thousands were there, according to Fox News, and they were spread all across the Washington Mall at different rallies.
Union students joined the Students for Life of America Rally, and also attended other conferences and speeches while they were in D.C., such as the Evangelicals for Life conference. The goal of the march is to peacefully protest the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
“Abortion is the greatest human rights issue of our generation,” said Andrew Edmiston, a junior physics major and president of Life139, in a news release. “It affects all races, all people. It’s the human life at its most innocent stage.”
Dawson said one of the things that impacted her the most from the conferences was understanding that being pro-life should mean more than just protesting abortion. It also means being willing to stand up for other vulnerable populations and care for people at all stages of life.
“As several speakers said, we aren’t just anti-abortion, we are also pro racial reconciliation, pro women’s rights, pro adoption, pro refugee,” she said. “ We stand up for human rights, because we care about babies from conception to when people die naturally.”
Life139 has several events planned for the semester, including days of prayer, diaper drives and peaceful protests. They also raise money throughout the year for Birth Choice, Jackson’s crisis pregnancy center. More information about the club is available on their Facebook page.