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Students march for life in Phoenix, Arizona

Sydney Missigman, Editor-in-Chief

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Jan. 22 commemorated the 45th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade case, which made it legal for women in the United States to receive an abortion. Every year in late January, protesters of this law gather across the nation to share their belief in the right to life.

Lizzie Self ’18
Senior Lizzie Self shared that it is important to be a voice for those who are unable to support themselves.

This year, the Diocese of Phoenix called all pro-life advocates to join them in celebrating God’s gift of life on Jan. 20, 2018 in Downtown Phoenix.

According to the Diocesan website, the Arizona for Life March and Rally was a “family-friendly event with live music, entertainment, food available at the launch site, and inspiring speakers.” To promote a culture of life, as supported by Pope Francis, Catholics believe that it is imperative to share the joy of life in all stages.

As a Catholic school in the Diocese of Phoenix, Xavier also works to promote a culture of life within the community and hopes to inspire students to do the same. Gina Iker, the Respect Life club moderator, said, “The theology curriculum clarifies issues like abortion and related topics in social justice sophomore year, sexual ethics in the junior marriage vocation, and ethics senior year.”

In addition to the pro-life curriculum, throughout the year there are opportunities for students to get involved in expressing their passion for life. For example, Xavier hosts guest speakers from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, different groups fundraise for Maggie’s Place — a local crisis pregnancy home for mothers — and students can chose to volunteer at other pro-life organizations.

In agreement that as Catholics we should promote a “culture of life,” senior Lizzie Self said, “The pro-life presence in our schools and our state needs to be active to be effective and supportive for the community.”

Thus, Xavier students had the opportunity to be an advocate for life at the biannual Arizona for Life March and Rally on Saturday, Jan. 20. Xavier’s Respect Life club gathered members and their families to join other pro-lifers in peacefully marching to celebrate life.

Courtesy of Lizzie Self ’18
Xavier seniors use posters and balloons to show their support for the lives of the unborn.

Self said, the club “has been promoting meetings dedicated to talking about the March and making signs for it. It’s [the Respect Life] club that arranged for the bus to take students and their families to and from the event and its members that have volunteered to arrive at the event early to help fill balloons and sell t-shirts to the marchers!”

Aside from the Respect Life club members, all Xavier students and families were invited to participate in this celebration of life.

Mrs. Iker shared that, “Like the events in Washington DC and San Francisco, it is a peaceful assembly, not a protest.” This year, the Diocese hoped to have over “12,000 people in attendance, representing the number of abortions committed in AZ last year.”  

Self said, “I think attending this rally is an important way of saying, ‘Yes, this is worth my time [and] this cause is worthy of our attention,’ because it’s easy to brush it off as an optional weekend activity that your friends may or may not be attending.”

The Arizona for Life March and Rally was a touching celebration of our innate right as humans: the right to life.

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Students march for life in Phoenix, Arizona