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  • Energy palpable at Virginia March for Life

    Seeing more than 7,000 people gather from across the diocese and commonwealth is powerful. People of all ages, from babies in strollers to parents and grandparents, gathered to march for life in a time when laws are being passed to end life. The energy was palpable.

    The opportunity to attend Mass before the rally was a great way to focus on the prevalence of the culture of death. Before the rally, Richmond Bishop Barry C. Knestout celebrated Mass and said, “Today you are in exactly the right place doing what needs to be done which is to pray. Because God can change hearts and overcome the current culture of death.” It was a powerful reminder to keep praying no matter how discouraging it seems with the legal battles.

    People chanted, “We are pro-life,” in a call and response on the way to the rally and were gracious to the police who were assuring safe passage on the streets.

    The rally itself was very inspiring. We heard from speakers personally affected by abortion, including Melissa Ohden. She survived a saline infusion abortion at around 7 months gestation. Ryan Bomberger, as a child of a rape victim, spoke about his adoption, life in a multi-racial home and the adoption of two of his children.

    Throughout the rally, members of the Virginia House of Delegates and others came out of Capitol veto sessions to give affirmation to the march. And it seems like it made some magic happen with the failure of a proposed amendment to restrict abortion funding. According to Jeff Caruso, VCC executive director, the state budget bill goes back to the governor’s desk with the Hyde Amendment restrictions against abortion funding intact.

    I’ve attended the March for Life in Washington a few times and been impressed with the number of youths participating. There was no shortage of youths in Richmond. There were more than 1,000 students from across the Diocese of Richmond. I took note of some of their signs, one noted it was the sign holder’s birthday. It caused me to stop and think about all the others whose birthdays could have been that day if it weren’t for the option of abortion. 

    © Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

    @Elizabeth A. Elliott