Locals participate in Denver, national pro-life marches

-A A +A
By Corinne Westeman

A cross-section of Colorado — young, old, men, women, and people of various racial and ethnic groups — participated in mid-January’s Celebrate Life March & Rally in Denver.


“There were families pushing young kids in strollers and very elderly people who had a hard time walking,” Janet Hill of South Jeffco said, adding that she marched near a group of dancers in traditional Mexican garb. “It was a very diverse group. It makes you realize how these issues touch us all throughout our society.”

On Jan. 13, thousands of pro-life people took to the streets in Denver and across the country in organized protest marches.

This was Hill’s second time at the rally, attending this year with 25 fellow parishioners from Light of the World Catholic Church. She said she participated because she wanted to be more outgoing in faith and politics.

Likewise, Evergreen’s Deacon Ron and Maureen Roderick described how they marched to be more active in the democratic process as an example for their youngest son.

“I told him that it’s our right to have a voice, and get out and express it,” Maureen said. “I feel like I’ve always observed and not participated. I’m done with that.”

Ron, who is a deacon for the Catholic parishes in Clear Creek County, clarified that while the Celebrate Life March tends to focus on ending abortion, the march truly represents the most vulnerable — the dying, the less fortunate, the poor and those with special needs.

While the march is organized by the Catholic Archdiocese, other groups participated — Lutherans for Life and Democrats for Life, and one of the rally’s speakers was the president of Colorado Christian University.

“It’s hopeful,” Ron said of the march’s atmosphere. “I think it’s a joyful experience. We don’t do it out of vindication or nastiness. We’re sinners ourselves. ... It’s a public witness that we care about the little ones, and we care about the most vulnerable in our society. We feel it has to be visible.”

Hill commented how she feels that she and her female peers are receiving mixed messages, that they can’t be pro-women while also being pro-life.

“But, there are so many women involved in the pro-life movement ... (who) seek to ensure the dignity of all people, women included,” she said.

Marching on D.C.

Much like Hill, of all the signs at the national pro-life march, the one that most resonated with Marley Jones, 15, was the one that read: “Pro-life is pro-woman.”

“Every life is sacred,” said Jones, a freshman at Columbine High School. “A third of our population is missing, and many are from our generation.”

Jones and nine other high school students from the St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church youth group flew to the March for Life on Jan. 20 in Washington.

Jones explained how the three-day trip was a Christmas gift from her parents, and she excitedly counted down the days beforehand.

“I felt like I had a burning inside me to do something about this (issue),” she said. “I wanted to do something drastic.”

Murphy Storen, 18, a senior at Mullen High School, also had attended the national march during middle school. But, returning this year made him realize the magnitude of this civil rights issue, he said.

Before marching from the national mall around the Capitol to the Supreme Court building, the attendees gathered for a rally where several politicians, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan, voiced their support, Storen said

“We do believe we are making a difference,” he said of the marchers. “It’s not a small issue. It takes every person to make a difference.”

Storen, Jones and Xander Manzanares, 16, described the march itself as surreal — how they saw thousands of other young people marching for the same thing. The atmosphere was generally happy and peaceful, they said.

“We (marchers) were vocal but not in a rude way,” said Manzanares, a Columbine sophomore.

Unlike his peers, Manzanares had never been to either the local or national march before. In fact, he said he didn’t really think much about the pro-life cause before.

“But now,” he said, “it’s something I’ll carry with me going forward.”