By Laura Feldman
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, stretched, and popped out of bed. What would today be like, I wondered? Today would be my first time to walk the West Coast Walk for Life.
The sun was barely up when our San Jose State University student club, Spartans for Life, gathered on January 27. As we piled into a van for the drive to San Francisco, the excitement was tangible. We were on a mission to share the beautiful message that all human life is precious and worth saving.
God gave us the gift of a glorious, sunny Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, as we joined 50,000 other people unified under one goal: to turn hearts and minds away from abortion and towards life. Before gathering for the walk we listened to a few of the brave speakers, women who are Silent No More. They shared their powerful message about the painful and destructive effects of abortion, on them and their families.
As we gathered with other students and pro-life leaders at the front of the crowd, I was struck by how joyful everyone was. It was clear by the smile on everyone’s faces and the signs that read “Smile, your mom CHOSE LIFE,” that we were spreading a message of love and hope. As we walked, we were led in song by a student from Thomas Aquinas College. When met by a group of protesters, we responded with singing and praying the rosary.
The Pro-Life movement is a cause that affects everyone. I looked throughout the crowd of people and saw every color and every age represented ranging from babies in strollers to the elderly. Most surprising and encouraging to me was the staggering number of young adults that mobilized for this event. It shows that we understand that abortion affects our peers the most – and it proves that we are the Pro-Life Generation.
We ended our day with a dinner generously provided by the Star of the Sea Catholic Parish, a talk from Sister Magnifica, and Eucharistic Adoration. Sister Magnifica is a member of the Sisters of Life religious community in New York. She shared with us testimonies of brave women who made the decision to give their unborn babies life, whom the Sisters support. We then knelt in a Holy Hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. After the hopeful and energizing day, Adoration was a beautiful way to conclude the day and prepare ourselves for the Students for Life Conference the next day. The Holy Hour gave us quiet time to pray and reflect on “Why life?” Simply because life is a gift that Jesus gave us.
Sunday started early with 7:30 a.m. Mass at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, where we were joined by other student groups. After Mass, we checked in at the National Students for Life Conference, ready for a full day of learning how to be a powerful Pro-Life Advocate. I thoroughly enjoyed the talks from speakers such as Kristan Hawkins, the President of Students for Life, and David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life. They made the idea of powerfully impacting our peers seem possible with the Five Pillars: Public Policy, Effective Education, Rapid Response, Support Service, and Industry Impact. I met students who traveled from Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and from all over California for the West Coast Walk for Life. We proved that we are the Pro-Life Generation.
For more information regarding Walk for Life visit www.walkforlifewc.com. For more information regarding 40 Days for Life visit https://40daysforlife.com.
Laura Feldman is a junior at San Jose State University, studying business analytics.