SALT LAKE CITY — More than 1,000 people from all over the state and beyond gathered at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 26 to participate in the March for Life. Similar events were held that day in cities throughout the nation to protest abortion and build a culture of life; the national event was Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C.
At the local event, participants received a name tag bearing the name of one of the 3,200 unborn babies aborted in Utah during 2017. People from all ages, backgrounds, cultures and religions gathered at the Utah Capitol holding signs with inscriptions such as “Life is Love” and “Choose Life” to express their emotions and opinions on the topic. Others held images such as Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Sacred Heart.
Among the participants was a group of Utah Knights of Columbus.
“I just love to choose life,” said Brad Wisch, from St. Olaf Parish’s Knight of Columbus Council 5502.
It’s important that people raise their voices to defend the lives of those who don’t have a voice, said Wisch, who has been a Knight for the past 46 years.
“We [the Utah Knights of Columbus] believe in life,” he said.
Other participants traveled from Washington, Colorado and Idaho to participate in the event.
Sister Giovanna Marie from the Marian Sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen in Colorado was part of a group of religious and lay women who have been raising money to be able to participate and contribute to this event.
“Being here [and seeing all these people] shows me that God is in the hearts of so many people, and that life – [the gift] that He gave to us – is still important to so many,” Sr. Giovanna Marie said. “It’s such a beautiful thing.”
Among the students and teachers from Saint Joseph Catholic Schools in Ogden who participated in the march was Stephanie Hernandez, who said in Spanish that being there that day with her children was very important.
“I am against abortion and I am pro-life,” she said, adding that she hopes her kids “see how beautiful and important is to defend and protect life.”
After the march around the Capitol building, there was a short program that included music, speakers and an overview of upcoming pro-life legislation and news.
This year two abortion bills will be considered during the Utah legislature session. Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, unveiled House Bill 136, which would ban abortions after 15 weeks.
Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, is sponsoring House Bill 166, which would ban abortions of children with Down Syndrome.
Participants in the march donated diapers, wipes, formula and other items for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City.