Marchers carry signs advocating for the right to life as they approach the Nebraska State Capitol. Photo by Paige Uzzell.
by Paige Uzzell
Students, government officials and community members gathered at the Nebraska State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 26 to support the lives of the unborn and new pro-life legislation.
The rally began on the north side of the Capitol at 10 a.m. with speeches from Gov. Pete Ricketts, Sen. Ben Sasse, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, along with a few others. Thousands of supporters stood outside the Capitol in the below-freezing temperatures.
“As a member of Catholics at Concordia, this helped me remember that, no matter how much I can’t feel my toes or fingers, I was there for the humans that will never walk and can’t speak on their own behalves,” sophomore Kassidy Grosserode said.
Some students have been attending the March for Life since before they could walk.
“I went to the March for Life to protect life, the lives of innocent babies,” freshman Theresa Tvrdy said. “I have gone to the March for as long as I can remember. My mom told me that she would push us in the stroller every year.”
The rally members walked seven blocks to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Student Union. After grabbing some sweets and coffee, the marchers listened to former Planned Parenthood employee Catherine Adair speak about her journey from Planned Parenthood to pro-life.
Adair started off her journey with Planned Parenthood with her own abortion at 19 years old. She later majored in women’s studies and landed a job as a counselor at the largest Planned Parenthood facility in New England. She later assisted with a second-trimester abortion, which started her down the path of leaving the clinic.
“The scales just fell from my eyes, and I saw a human being,” Adair said. “You would think that I would go running out into the street and grab the first person I’d see and say ‘Do you know what they’re doing in there? They’re killing babies.’ I didn’t. I went back to work the next day, and the day after that.”
Adair’s message filled the packed ballroom. She went on to tell the crowd how she went to graduate school and began to teach. She also discussed her trials in being a mother, a Christian and knowing what she has done. Adair closed with some words of encouragement.
“I was finally able to understand that through the grace of God, through His love, through His mercy, that I am forgiven. I want to say to any woman here that has had an abortion, that God loves you, that God is merciful,” Adair said.
Adair spoke of her own trials, but the marchers had their own trials on Saturday. Pro-choice protesters were marching alongside the March for Life members.
“It was stressful because we were all walking alongside each other, unified under one cause, and there were people trying to disrupt the unity that makes our cause so strong,” freshman Nicholas Totenhagen said.
Even though the marchers faced challenges to their cause, they still voiced hope for a future where abortion is no more.
“The thing that stood out to me was the sacrifice of time and people willing to stand out in the cold,” Tvrdy said. “Also, how young this pro-life generation is very impressive. People came and walked for what they believed in, to protect innocent lives, to stop abortion.”