March for Life

      

       12-09_144web2.jpg Each year on January 22, the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, pro-life Americans rally in Washington DC and exercise their freedom of speech.  Roe vs. Wade was a Supreme Court decision in 1973 making abortion legal in the United States. The issue of abortion and a pregnant woman’s right to choose to kill her unborn child has remained controversial and politically charged ever since.

       Just because abortion is legal doesn’t make it right.  According to the Declaration of Independence, our country was founded on the laws of nature and the laws of God, and that we “hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Over the years, many have fought the abortion legislation, and many have educated the masses on the consequences of such an immoral law.  Polls show that these tactics are working, and that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not believe that abortion should be legal. Because we ARE alive, and are entitled to free speech, Right to Life of Northeast Ohio chooses to join in with hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and participate in the annual March For Life in our nation’s capitol.   This tremendous gathering of pro-life Americans begins at noon with a rally at the National Mall and then proceeds with a march down Constitution Avenue towards the Capitol building and ending in front of the Supreme Court.   Every year, participation in the March for Life has increased dramatically.  This sends a message to our legislators that they need to listen to the will of the people and work to abolish abortion in our country.

Right to Life of Northeast Ohio sponsors a trip to Washington, DC for the March for Life almost every year, with the primary participants being students from Youth for Life of Northeast Ohio.  Led by the executive director and adult volunteers,  they invite everyone to join them on this pilgrimage to Washington DC for an incredible display of peaceful and prayerful protest.   We usually fill at least 2-3 busses of students, and encourage other churches or pro-life organization to fill a bus (55 seats) with members from your church and to join us on this incredible trip.

How to participate in the March for Life:

1.    Start planning early!   Choose a member of your pro-life group or church to coordinate as chairman.  Get price quotes from bus companies and hotels if you plan to spend the night.  Begin announcing the trip and getting tentative commitments for participation in mid to late summer or by the beginning of September.  Spread the word by sending letters or e-mails or calling various groups within your church or organization.  Obtain permission to hang posters about the event.

2.    Share trip planning with another church, especially if you are part of a parish cluster, and try to obtain enough commitments between the churches to fill a bus.

3.    Contact Right to Life of Northeast Ohio  in early September to let us know of your plans so that we can keep you informed of our own March For Life plans so you can join up with us on the day of the march.

4.    Set a deadline for accepting deposits.  Trip costs can vary.  Some groups do a “red-eye” trip, which means that they leave for Washington at midnight or very early in the morning the day of the march, and then return home right after the march.    The Right to Life sponsored trip is a two night, two day trip, arriving two nights before the march.  This trip usually costs around $200  and includes transportation, two nights lodging and two breakfasts.  Educational and sightseeing options on the day before the march are usually low to no cost. 

5.    If applicable, do some fundraising!  Many of the youth groups conduct fundraisers such as car washes and bake sales, or send out requests for sponsors to help youth or high school students with the cost of participation.  Even if members of your church or organization can afford to pay for the trip on their own, there may be others who wish to participate that cannot.  Conducting some fundraisers to help with those costs could provide an opportunity for someone to attend that normally couldn’t.IMG_5224web2.JPG

6.    Set a deadline for final payment and collection of paperwork such as medical release forms.  For our own trip, we require all paperwork and payment to be submitted to us by December 30.    Give yourself plenty of time to collect payment and paperwork so you can finalize your plans with bus companies and hotels.

7.   Pack, Pray, and March!  

       If your church or group chooses not to sponsor a trip and you have some members that still would like to go, call Right to Life of Northeast Ohio in early September  to receive details and costs about the Right to Life sponsored  trip.  Reservation with deposit are usually accepted up until October 15.   Details and copies of required paperwork will also be available on the Youth for Life of Northeast Ohio website. 

 

What can we do if we don’t want to go on the trip?

        For a lot of people, participating in the March for Life is not feasible, most often because of job, family or economic reasons.  This trip is extremely important, and is a tremendous educational opportunity especially for our youth.  To help more people participate, you can still:

  • Conduct fundraisers and contribute proceeds to Youth for Life of Northeast Ohio to help defray the cost of participation for the youth that attend.
  • Solicit donations from your congregation, group, friends or family and contribute to help defray the cost of participation for students or others.
  • Sponsor one, two or more individuals to participate in the trip on behalf of your church or organization.   Have them speak at a church service or organization meeting after they return to tell of their experience.
  • Collect food and snacks, such as cases of water, granola bars, fruit, etc. for the participants to partake in during the trip on the bus and during their stay.  Every little bit counts!  Place bins at the entrances to your church or organization targeted for these items. 

 

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