GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On Friday, hundreds of thousands of anti-abortion advocates are expected to descend upon on Washington for the 44th annual March for Life.
Among them will be a large group from West Michigan. Grand Rapids Right to Life is sending 12 buses filled with about 700 people to the nation’s capital for the gathering.
Laura Alexandria helped organize the trip. She has made ‘right to life’ her life’s work and is the director of operations for the Grand Rapids chapter.
“Abortion affects innocent, unborn children. They don’t have a voice and there isn’t anyone to stand up for them,” Alexandria told 24 Hour News 8 Monday.
Fifty students from Grand Rapids West Catholic High School will join the annual march. Teacher Pat Nugent has taken groups of kids to the event for nearly two decades.
“This isn’t just a movement that’s going to die out. It’s a youth movement,” he said. “If you actually go to the march, it’s more kids than older people there. It also gives the kids an opportunity to see that they’re not the only ones who hold this idea. It’s not just a West Catholic idea, it’s not just a Grand Rapids idea.”
March for Life is held each year in protest of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion nationwide.
This year, the March for Life is being held less than a week after the Women’s March on Washington -– an event with a much different message and an opposing opinion of abortion. Among the values and principles listed for the Women’s March is “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.”
“What I disagree with that march was the language, the vulgarity, the sexually-driven signs and costumes that were being worn,” Alexandria said of the Women’s March.
She added that she’s frustrated with the massive media coverage given to the Women’s March on Washington, saying the March for Life doesn’t get the same kind of attention.
“The pro-life movement isn’t covered as much because in today’s society we’re almost counter-cultural. We’re still fighting for traditional values,” Alexandria said.
For her, that fight will continue no matter who’s paying attention.
“To me, the abortion issue is the largest civil rights issue of our day,” she said.
This year’s group could be the largest Grand Rapids Right to Life has ever taken to D.C. They plan to leave on Wednesday night.