Students participate in the March for Life

Gracie Wilson, AU-LIVE MANAGING EDITOR

Students involved in the Ashland University Catholic Campus Ministry recently made the trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life on Jan. 24.

Elizabeth Paydo, Frances Boggs and Mekenna Balasko are just three of the students who took the trip to the nation’s capital for the 47th year of March for Life.

“March for life is always in January and has to do with the case of Roe v Wade,” Boggs, a senior history major said. “We march around the same time the decision was and try to make a physical statement in marching against the idea that the Supreme Court was allowed to make a decision in that abortions or the ending of any infant life is permissible.”

These three students, and others from AU, took the trip in order to make their point of view known on this issue and took part in the annual march through the city.

“It is very much a peaceful protest,” Paydo, a senior triple major in business management, entrepreneurship and supply chain management said. “There was a rally right before the march… and right after that the actual march began. We start at the Washington Monument and walk all the way down to the Supreme Court building.”

Students from AU took the opportunity to go, but they were not the only representation from Ohio colleges as they went with other universities in the surrounding area.

“[We went] with Catholic Campus Ministry,” Balasko, a senior fashion merchandising major said. “They organized a group for us to go down and we actually went with a group from Wooster and Cleveland State.”

The March for Life saw representation from various age groups, but the students from AU noticed a high number of youth and young adult participants alongside them.

“It is pretty cool when the youth cares about an issue,” Paydo said. “At the march there were people from all age ranges, but there were a lot of high school and college students… it is really special that so many students care.”

The students that participated showed their care for the issue by tying their involvement to their own religious values.

“We started our day at the Basilica in D.C. where we celebrated mass with a large number of other March for Life participants,” Boggs said. “Starting the day off in prayer and offering up our march for those who can’t march was a very centering way for us to go into the experience.”

Boggs was also able to tie experiences from the march back to what she has been studying as a history major during her time at Ashland.

“In studying history and politics… to have politicians who openly got up there and were pro-life, I feel like so often I don’t hear from those politicians,” Boggs said. “To hear that some states do have those politicians that so passionately fight for those who can’t fight for themselves… was really encouraging.”

While the march made an impact on the students that went from AU, it also drew in interest from various groups and age ranges across the country.

“I really enjoyed seeing the different families from literally all over that came with their little kids,” Balasko said, “it was very universal.”

Students used this opportunity provided to them by Catholic Campus Ministries to go be a part of something bigger than themselves and participate in something that lets them show their beliefs alongside others who share them.

“I must fight for the dignity of mankind, what it means to be a human made in the image and likeness of God and I have to fight for those who cannot do that,” Boggs said. “I know deep down they are the tiniest image of God.”

A handful of AU community members went to be a part of the bigger cause, bringing their own viewpoints and values to the bigger cause of March for Life.

“I often feel like I’m just one person, what can I do?” Paydo said. “But everybody had that thought process and then there were so many people that ended up being there because we all decided to stand up for what we believe in.”

For their senior year, these students jumped into a new experience that showed those around them they are willing to take a stand for what they believe.

“I want my voice to be heard,” Boggs said. “I want people to know this is what I believe and truly feel.”