Why I Went to the March for Life

STOP! They say to start articles by getting the attention of the reader… I’ve always been bad at that! But I’m not bad at making friends, so I’ll start with this instead. Here’s a little bit about me:

I’m a 20-year-old college student, which means I live on library couches, coffee, and the three minutes of socialization I experience in the cafeteria. I have extraordinarily bad luck with vehicles. Cats and Nicholas Cage are serious obsessions!I don’t like to admit it, but I’m a TOTAL sucker for dumb, cliché, full-on Hallmark, slips-on-the-ice-looks-up-and-meets-true-love chick flicks! One of my favorites is He’s Just Not That Into You. How does any of this tie-into abortion and The March for Life? Glad you asked! Let me explain…

    He’s Just Not That Into You is about a woman in her thirties named Gigi who struggles to find “the one.” Gigi makes a guy friend, Alex, who (SPOILER: she ends up with because, duh) helps her undo the mindset of hopeless romanticism. Gigi believed herself to be the exception to the rule (that men would change for her and the perfect romance could be found. Alex taught her that life is messy, and not everything will work out. Gigi learned that she was the rule, not the exception.

    I’ve usually been the person who believed in the rule of “the rule”- if I think hard enough and study long enough, something will click and answers will be found! I’ve guided my consciousness by the idea that we are all “rules,” and that we cannot make ourselves the exception. There’s nothing wrong with this view, but after I went to The March for Life, my paradigm shifted, but maybe not in the way you think. Here’s why:

    The March for Life was the most peaceful environment I have ever been in. I admit, before going to D.C. I was not a very pro march/boldly take stands for controversial causes sort of person; trying to get the attention of others who are already closed minded and grip-locked into their viewpoint… No thanks! But when 650,000 people show up in one place, from different walks of life, for one purpose and with one vision, and for it to be ENTIRELY PEACEFUL- now that is incredibly powerful!

    The March for Life had little to do with me or my opinion. It had very little to do with the 650,000 people and their opinions… we were ALL marching for others; Those who marched provided a voice for the 60 million humans who did not get a chance to speak. While the march itself didn’t really have anything to do with us, it has everything to do with abortion and it’s mess of complicated questions that come with it. They are not just questions; they are PEOPLE!

    This is where the idea of the rule and the exception come back. In the end of the movie, Gigi realized she was the rule. However to Alex, Gigi was the exception. Before the march, I was like Alex. I was so focused on the rule, that even though the exception made sense, it didn’t matter. I can image Gigi’s perspective would feel much the same way. Although the rule is more common, the exception does exist.

    The rule is that there is a way to save unborn children. The exception is that way isn’t always easy. Right now, I want to acknowledge the exception. When I think about unplanned pregnancies or situations involving complications such as rape, poverty, and youth, my heart breaks. It breaks for the baby, the grief, the sadness, the loss, the pain, the decision, the guilt, the outside pressure, the hate. I see it. I feel it. Admittedly, not in the same way those going through it feel, but I see it, and it is very real!

    My eyes were opened, and my perception truly changed when I saw mothers, fathers, and children who had experienced rape, poverty, and terminal complications the rule and the exception! Their stories are beautiful and powerful!

    I did not write this article to debunk every argument or position ever. I wrote it to hopefully bring some unity to this conversation. Participating in The March for Life does not automatically make a person  “unsympathetic” nor does participating in The Women’s March translate to “who needs kids anyway?” I want to apologize on behalf of those (myself included) who have bashed, judged, hated, and have been closed off to  the people at the heart of the issue. If our goal is to reduce or eliminate abortions, empowering women needs to be part of that solution. Those supporting life over choice should not ignore the weight that keeping the baby carries. Empowerment, rights, and equal opportunities for women are ALL things we desperately want, but not before, or instead of, the most basic human right: the human right to live. This is why I March for Life.

    If you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to share with me, I’d love to have a conversation with you in person. If this is an issue that speaks to you, check out our student organization Abundant Life, which is a resource group here on NCU campus for single mothers.

Learn More- IG: @abundant_lifencu

About the author: Hannah Toton

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