Mason groups represented at annual March for Life

Catholic Campus Ministry was one of several student groups who participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. (Adam Sylvain)

Several Mason student groups, including Catholic Campus Ministry and GMU Life Choices for Students, skipped their first classes of the spring semester and joined thousands in the annual March for Life on Monday.

The March for Life began Jan. 22, 1974 one year following the Supreme Court’s Roe V. Wade decision, legalizing abortion in the United States. The event begins with a rally at the National Mall followed by a march up Constitution Ave., to the foot of the Supreme Court. Organizers estimate the rally has attracted at least 200,000 attendees since 2003.

Students from Mason gathered with Pro-Life supporters from all over the country. Many participants carried signs with slogans such as: “Health Care begins in the womb,” “Life is a Right” and “All Babies want to Get Borned.”

Hannah Vaseghi, acting president of Mason’s Life Choices for Students, said she noticed an increased number of politicians speaking and taking part in the March this year.

“I believe it’s an indication that we [Pro-Life supporters] are gaining momentum, support and recognition,” said Vaseghi. “Our numbers are growing and politicians are taking notice.”

Vaseghi was one of at least four members of the Life Choices group attending the rally.

Life Choices for Students provides support for students on campus experiencing crisis pregnancies. According to Vaseghi, much of the support comes from referrals to the Life Choices Resource Center on Main St. in Fairfax. Services offered at the Resource Center include free pregnancy and STD testing, counseling and sonogram tests.

John Candler, a junior Civil Engineering major, was one of an estimated forty students attending the March with Mason’s Catholic Campus Ministry. “I have a great time and it’s the least I can do to support Pro-Life,” Candler said. “It [the March] shows more than a small group share the same view and it shows unity.”

University Chaplain and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry, Rev. Peter Nassetta, says turnout from students who marched with the group marked a new record in his 11 years of chaplaincy. “There were between 40 and 50 of us [at the march],” said Rev. Nassetta. “It’s impossible to guess exactly how many total people were there but it felt like one of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen.”


Disclosure: Adam Sylvain is a member of GMU Catholic Campus Ministry. 

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