80 students from the Diocese of Venice join March for Life

The students made the journey from the Suncoast to the nation's capital to join the chorus of...
The students made the journey from the Suncoast to the nation's capital to join the chorus of voices hoping for an end to abortion.(Shane Battis)
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 5:48 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As hundreds of thousands of people moved through Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, there were some familiar faces in the crowd. Eighty students with the Diocese of Venice made the trip from the Suncoast to the nation’s capital to make their voices heard.

The annual march gathers people from all over the country to protest against abortion. This year’s march comes on the heels of a historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, effectively ending the federal constitutional right to an abortion.

Some of the students ABC7 spoke to were awestruck by the magnitude of the march.

“When you see on the big screen and see how many people are there it’s mind-blowing how many people care about this and support it,” James Rowan, a student at Cardinal Mooney High School, said.

Rowan attended the march for the second time because he wants to see more states ban abortion, but more importantly, he wants to see more people change the way they think about the procedure.

“Life is really a gift,” Rowan said. “We’re all made in God’s image and likeness, and I really enjoyed that one.”

Ellie Bepko, another student at Cardinal Mooney High School, feels the same way. She feels it’s vital for the government to step in to protect unborn children.

“They still have rights. They’re still humans so they deserve to be protected under the law. And it offers morality I think having a passion for sticking up for what you believe in.”

Meanwhile, pro-choice advocates are preparing for their own demonstration. This year’s Women’s March is happening in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday. Organizers explain they’re hosting it here for the first time in an effort to flip the state supreme court seat, which would give them a shot at overturning the state’s abortion ban.

President Joe Biden also sounded off over the weekend. He released a statement in support of abortion rights saying in part, “never before has the Court taken away a right so fundamental to Americans.”

As the nation continues to fiercely debate the future of reproductive rights, Bepko hopes to see more events like the March for Life because she feels it’s a powerful way to champion love.

“And I think that’s what needs to be spread through society today and I think that’s the heart of it,” she said.

Those in favor of abortion are also rallying in Florida’s capital this weekend. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Tallahassee to give a speech advocating for the expansion of abortion access in the state.