Just four days into the second semester, I joined 1,000 ND/SMC/HC students on a trip to Washington, DC for the March For Life. We were part-time tourists and full-time pilgrims. We were getting ready to use our freedom of speech to fight for life! It was a trip filled with great food, great friends, and great “fighting”. It was definitely a trip filled with love…with a CAPITOL L.
After a twelve hour, overnight bus ride and a great Mass with ND President Fr. Jenkins, we grabbed our “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman” signs and headed out to the March For Life. We walked from the National Mall to the Supreme Court building for about three hours. Marching alongside us were post-abortive women, children who were born after a failed abortion, people conceived from rape, religious people, and a whole bunch of college students! With hundreds of thousands of marchers, it was definitely the largest crowd I’ve ever been in. My friends and I concluded the day with burgers and chicken tenders (don’t judge us-we walked A LOT) and an attempt at the metro system. How many nineteen year olds does it take to navigate DC transportation? About six…plus a few helpful locals.
After a good night’s sleep on the floor of a parish hall, my belles and I were ready for a day in DC! We spent the morning at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (try saying that five times fast). Every nook and cranny of that place is a work of art! Afterward, my friends and I hung out around the gorgeous Catholic University of America for a bit, and now we're seriously considering CUA’s grad school offerings. We went to the CUA version of “Eddy’s Street” and felt so impressed! We ate at the cutest, trendiest place called “Busboys and Poets” and loved our meal and the bookshop-esque atmosphere. We even had a view of the Basilica dome! There were adorable shops along the road, including an iconography workshop (place where those traditional Catholic portraits are made) and a stationary boutique that sold soap named after Bronte novels!
After trial number two at the metro system, we headed to the Capitol building. The government was inconveniently shut down so we couldn’t take a tour, but we DID get to watch two senators discuss a bill from the gallery! I felt as if I was living inside my high school government textbook! After hanging around Capitol Hill for a bit, it was time to board our busses to head back home to Saint Mary’s. There’s no way to hit all the tourist hotspots in DC in six hours, but we opted for embracing a local’s life-whether that be the life of a local college student or the life of a local legislator.
Being pro-life is not the hip and trendy stance to take. It’s not talked about at the Golden Globes, and it wasn’t even talked about on our official college social media platforms. The media is great about being all about girl power…but to be pro-life is to be pro-woman. So, calling all feminist collegiates! Empower the women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies to be brave and courageous! Our bodies can hold a life inside of them…like…WOAH! Don’t underestimate the power of women and the power to bring beauty and life into messy situations. A fetus is not a temporary organ of the female body, it is a complete human being with a genome all its own: dependent on the mother, but distinct from the mother. Every pregnant woman should have the right to embrace the amazing life-producing potentialities of her own feminine genius while respecting the growing human being that is inside her. A wonderful Saturday in DC made me so grateful for life itself. I get to experience amazing friendships, adorable sidewalk shops, gorgeous basilicas, and even stressful metro rides. What did we do to attain this life? Nothing. But our moms chose life-and that’s why we get to experience this crazy adventure we call life.
Hey mom? Thanks for loving me with a capitol “L”, even when I was just “a clump of cells”.