By Phil Eddy, Northeast Regional Coordinator
On Friday, January 25th, the SFLA team took part in the annual National Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C. Despite a decidedly un-fun election season for pro-life activists of all political stripes, and the pundit class calling our movement dead, we stepped up and showed up to make our voices heard. Media estimates ranged from “crowds” to “thousands” to “tens of thousands.” Those who aren’t blinded by hatred of the pro-life movement have been estimating a bit higher – “400,000+” and “half a million” were reported by several media outlets, and one independent firm hired by a Catholic media outlet said their analysis pointed towards a crowd over 650,000.
Incensed by years of unfair and downright deceptive media coverage of the march, SFLA showed up to play ball, with a game plan designed to neutralize any attempt by some Planned Parenthood-lovin’ news editor to score one for his team. While some reporters in the past have tried to make it appear that the MFL is devoid of youth (***facepalm***), we thought we’d make our message entirely about youth, with 10,000 signs to distribute and a gigantic banner that screams “WE ARE THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION!” We took this banner and our contingent (more than 500 strong), and made our way to the front of the march, right behind the National Pro-Life March banner (carried by Notre Dame University students) and the flags (carried by students from the Buffalo area schools St. Francis HS and Holy Angels Academy – click here for photos!).
Our boisterous delegation swarmed Constitution Ave and up Capitol Hill, allowing for this amazing photograph on the NY Times website:
Once at the Supreme Court, we parked that big banner behind the small group of angry abortion demonstrators, and teams of pro-life students held up their signs and played interference. The goal: make sure that no photographer or TV cameraperson could get a shot that would later be used to slander or depict the march in an unfair manner. Kristan Hawkins herself led students in chants, and not even a steady snowfall or sub-freezing temperatures could silence the voices. The plan succeeded, and the media narrative coming out of the march this year was that youth ARE the pro-life movement, and no election will dampen that organic growth.
On Saturday, 2,000 students showed up to a conference center in North Bethesda and spent the day learning and networking at the annual SFLA National Conference. We ended the conference this year with a pep rally that included Tyler and Catelynn from MTV’s “Teen Mom” and two dozen student leaders sharing their groups’ accomplishments to thunderous applause.
One of the most memorable moments of the night had to be the flash mob, when Kristan Hawkins was joined on stage by several other movement leaders (even Fr. Frank Pavone!) and dozens of students to dance to “Gangnam Style.” You can watch video of this hilarious moment online here.
A special thanks goes out to Cheryl Calire (Diocese of Buffalo), Megan Shane (Seton Hall University), the students from Patrick Henry College who carried the banner, Kate Bryan and Rev. Pat Mahoney (for being great activists AND organizing the first MFL-weekend pro-life dance party), and Jeanne Monahan, who has shown to be outstanding in her role as the new MFL organizer. Nellie would be proud!
Were you one of the tens of thousands of pro-lifers from the Northeast who made the trek down to DC for the March and/or the SFLA National Conference? Email me and let me know how it went; I’d love to hear about your experience!
“I’m in planned parenthood with a friend getting birth control. Super awkward…interesting though, when they found out she had Medicaid they wanted to have a “visit” instead of just filling the scrip.”
Now, I’m not saying that my friend was allegedly observing something illegal; just that she was allegedly observing someone intentionally do something that would enable them to get even more money from the government as reimbursement, even if it wasn’t actually required or performed. As we approach everyone’s favorite holiday – Tax Day – take heart in knowing that Planned Parenthood is allegedly doing its best to squeeze every dime they can from us, the American taxpayers.