On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, I attended my first Mass for Life and March for Life as a correspondent for Northwest Catholic. Here’s my article.
It was quite an amazing experience to see more than 5,000 people gather in the pouring rain and driving wind on the steps of the State Capitol in Olympia, WA to show that they truly care about life. It was a group that spanned all ages, including the young woman holding the sign in the picture. On the reverse side of her sign, it said “Forgiveness is for everyone.” I really wanted to know her story, but she really didn’t seem like she wanted to be interviewed, so I’m letting her sign speak for her.
In fact, I spent so much time looking for parking that I didn’t really get a chance to interview many of the participants before the March for Life began, and besides, most of them were just trying to stay warm standing out in the crazy (even for Western Washington) rain. I followed a group who went in afterwards and got to speak with their Senator, as well as aides from their Legislators. Any time you see actual citizens go in and have face-to-face meetings with their representatives, it is extremely heartening. Did they change the heart and mind of their pro-choice state Senator? Probably not, but, as Sean Stewart, with the Legislative Advocacy Group at St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Renton said, “Our goal is to plant seeds. I could see that maybe a few got sprinkled on the ground and might be taking a little bit of root, we’ll see. It’s a long-term effort here, and I think we surprised him… we deliberately took a different tack this time based on something he told to us previously which was ‘Let’s find common ground.’”
Depending on the media you consume, you may feel that the pro-choice crowd has the upper hand at the moment, and perhaps they do. During the March for Life, the rain was coming down really hard and the wind threatened to rip away the tent over the podium where the speakers rallied the crowd. Yet, as the march concluded, I witnessed the rain let up for a few minutes and a faint rainbow appeared over the Temple of Justice across the way from the Legislative Building. That was a real, unmistakable message from someone who approved of what the Marchers were doing.