The Sower Logo

Home News Bulldogs for Life takes over 100 members to national March for Life

Nora Betts, Hope Nelson, and Kai Olbrich

Sower Staff


This year Bulldogs for Life took 100 people to Washington, D.C. to attend the March for Life and Youth 4 Life conference. Student leaders were Bulldogs for Life’s club president Emma VanTol, vice president Jack Hagan, and secretary Nora Betts.

The March for Life is an annual pro-life demonstration in Washington, D.C., that takes place around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States in 1973. Roe was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson in 2022 which brought abortion legislation back to the state level.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators march from the National Mall to the Supreme Court building each year to advocate against abortion.

Leaving Campus

Bulldogs for Life’s trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., begins Thursday morning, Jan. 18, as one of two buses gets stuck in the snow. Credit: Jason Kettelhake

A bus got stuck in the snow in the parking lot behind the Walz Health and Human Performance Center as it arrived to transport Bulldogs for Life participants to the Omaha airport Thursday morning. Another bus had already arrived, but it could only carry 57 of the 100 people going on the trip. Many students and the two bus drivers tried unsuccessfully for nearly an hour to get the bus unstuck. Three chaperones and one student who is certified to drive a school van got permission from Concordia to transport the remaining participants. Fifty-seven people took the first bus to Omaha and the other 43 followed in the vans. Everyone made it to the airport in time for their flight.

Y4Life Conference

Bulldogs for Life members joined Y4Life, the youth branch of Lutherans for Life, for a conference in Washington, D.C., along with other college and high school students. The conference featured devotions, speakers on pro-life issues, and time for socialization before and after the March for Life. 


The Rev. Trevor Sutton, lead pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Haslett, Michigan, spoke about love, courage, and compassion. He used the work of Banksy, a street artist, to show how a piece of art can have multiple meanings but still be the same work, just as love, courage and compassion are all slightly different but also the same. Sutton also spoke about technology and how in conversation and community it is best to have as many senses going present. This is why likes on social media are essentially meaningless while being with another person is the best way to communicate. This is one of the reasons why he loves the March for Life. “It’s easy to pass up a post it’s easy to pass up an article you disagree with but when you see a person in a body and lots of bodies and lots of people you take notice,” Sutton said.


The executive director of the Abortion Survivors Network shared a message of hope for those affected by abortion at Friday morning’s conference session. Melissa Ohden was born alive as a survivor of a “failed” saline abortion and now works to connect with other abortion survivors. Ohden said there are an estimated 1,734 babies born alive following failed abortions each year, with 85,817 live births since Roe v. Wade in 1973. She said her organization has met with 710 abortion survivors and also works to offer hope to mothers, fathers, children, and abortionists. Ohden said her goals are to give abortion survivors connection and healing and to remind them that their lives are valuable and created by God.

From left to right on stage: Michelle Bauman, Katy Faust, Rev. Brian Barlow, Rev. Jonathan Petzold, Christa Petzold. Credit: Hope Nelson

Four panelists with unique insights on the topic of gender and sexuality led Friday night’s session. They included Katy Faust, founder of the organization Them Before Us, the Rev. Brian Barlow, a minister to the “sexually and relationally broken,” and the Rev. Jonathan and Mrs. Christa Petzold, a married pastor and stay-at-home mom/doctoral candidate pair from Illinois. The panelists accepted questions from the audience, and their answers addressed topics such as transgender issues, marriage, and the unique roles of men and women in society. The overarching theme of the discussion was identity and, as Barlow put it, Christians who are firm in their identity in Christ are themselves the light of Christ.

March for Life

100 Bulldogs for Life gather on the National Mall on Friday and wait to join the March for Life. Credit: Christina Lee

The March for Life began at the National Mall at 1 p.m. Friday and ended in front of the Supreme Court building, where Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973 and where the Dobbs Decision brought abortion restrictions back to the states in 2022. Bulldogs for Life members marched with Y4Life, sporting matching blue hats and scarves to keep from getting lost in the crowd. Participants held signs and sang hymns as they marched peacefully through the 1.5-mile route. Many religious affiliations were represented at the March, including Lutherans, Catholics and Jews, along with atheists. Students said they saw only a few pro-choice counter protestors along the route. 

Heading Back to Campus

Bulldogs for Life members take up 100 of the 143 seats on an airplane as they return to Omaha on Saturday after the March for Life. Credit: Emma VanTol

Please leave a reply. Your comment will be reviewed by the Sower editors before posting.