“You could see how many people were with you. It lets you know that you’re not alone in this fight and that you’re getting somewhere,” she said.
Galles told CNA that she is pro-life, because “Without the right to life, all other rights are pointless. That’s the number one right that every person should have.”
Carlos Rueda, a senior at Jesuit High School in Tampa, FL, flew up with some of his classmates to attend the March for Life. Rueda is the communications officer of his school’s pro-life club, and has attended the March for Life each year of high school. He told CNA that he is “passionate” about his involvement with the club.
Rueda said the March was “inspiring,” which is why he keeps coming back.
“You see so many people with the same goal in mind, even [from] different backgrounds,” said Rueda.
He said that in Tampa, he often faced pushback for his pro-life beliefs, but took solace in being surrounded by people who agreed with him in DC, “joining together, fighting for the same idea.”
Jayla Johnson, 15, and Tanina Sentementas, 16, had similar sentiments. The two traveled from Connecticut to Washington with their school, St. Paul Catholic High School.
Despite going to Catholic schools her entire life, Johnson said she was never taught about the reality of abortion until she was in the eighth grade.
“It really made me realize that it’s wrong, and I should stand up against it,” said Johnson.
Sentementas said that her group bonded during the eight-hour bus journey, and relished the chance to be with her peers and to better interact with them.
She told CNA that she is pro-life because she wants to “have a voice for children who don’t have them.”
(Story continues below)
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One of the 39 bishops present, Bishop Richard Umbers, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, had by far the longest journey to Washington. Umbers attended the March for Life last year with a group of Australian students en route to World Youth Day in Panama.
The experience made such an impression that he returned in 2020, again with a group of students. He told CNA that the decriminalization of abortion in the Australian state of New South Wales in October last year inspired him to come back to help jump start the pro-life movement in his country.
“The Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 that was passed in the State of New South Wales on the 2nd of October is our own Roe v Wade,” Umbers told CNA.
“I’m bringing people to Washington with a view to promoting something similar in Sydney.”
Australia does not have any sort of annual March for Life demonstration. Umbers hopes to change that.
“At the Vigil Mass this evening, packed with youth and clergy, mention was made of its humble beginnings. A generation later it’s huge,” he said.