Check out those faces above. Read the sign in the middle. “I am the pro-life generation.” Does this look like the pro-life movement that’s often stereotyped as old and stodgy?
The turnout at the 41st Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., this week shone a light on just how off-base that description can be. The crowd in attendance was indicative of what’s making the movement click: youth.
Two of the central players in the pro-life movement today, for instance, are Lila Rose and Kristan Hawkins, young activists who are both under the age of 30.
Rose, 25, founded the group Live Action at the age of 15. One decade on, Rose has become known for going undercover and exposing the abuses and injustices of groups such as Planned Parenthood.
The 28-year-old Hawkins is the president of Students for Life America and presides over 780 active college campus groups. According to the Washington Post, she organized a gathering that brought 2,500 college students to the District this week for the pro-life conference and the March for Life rally.
Joining that crowd at the march were student groups, large in number and representation, from all over the country. One Students for Life group from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., opened up to Red Alert about its 10-hour bus ride to get to D.C. to be a part of the annual event and its excitement to be there. “This is probably the best experience of my college career,” one student raved.
Students were bused in from as far as Texas, Tennessee, and New Orleans. Even high school students were given the opportunity to miss class on a Wednesday to join in and march in the freezing cold temperature of 12 degrees. One of the more popular chants screamed throughout the march was started by a small group of high school girls: “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Roe v. Wade has got to go.”
The participation and enthusiasm of the youth at the rally is indicative of what the demographic means to the movement.
“We do find that the young people are by far the majority of those who come to the March for Life,” Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, told The Christian Post. Monahan estimates that a substantial majority of the protesters each year — 80 to 85 percent — are 25 and younger.
These students don’t all come from religious groups, either. Kelsey Hazzard, president of the group Secular Pro-Life, argues that the current crop of young Americans is “both the most pro-life generation since Roe v. Wade and also the least religious generation since Roe v. Wade,” the publication reported. Some of them are part of the 6 million non-religious pro-lifers in the United States that her organization believes exist.
The leadership, the anecdotes, the numbers — they add up to a case that America’s youth is leading the pro-life charge, and will continue to do so for years to come.