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The GW Hatchet

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Student activists walk in anti-abortion march

More than 20 GW students joined an estimated 30,000 anti-abortion protesters in a march to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday on the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The “March for Life” has been held annually since the first anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1974, court ruling. Roe v. Wade determined anti-abortion laws violated a woman’s right to privacy, thus legalizing the operation on a national level.

The College Republicans, the Newman Catholic Center and Colonials for Life were represented at the march. CR President Gary Livacari said Monday was the first time his group has attended the march as a group.

“I’m really proud to be here,” Livacari, a senior, said. “It’s really one of the most important things we’ll do this year.”

He said the CRs needed to attend the event to show support for the Republican Party and its anti-abortion platform. He said abortion is not an issue that affects women only. Men, Livacari said, should not “force women to engage in something that is analogous to murder.”

“We’re raising awareness. We’re putting pressure on the people that are making policy on this issue,” he said. “Hopefully we can look back on this day as a sad moment in our history.”

One student, sophomore Krista McCoy, attended the march as part of her birthday celebration. She is a member of both the CRs and Colonials for Life and said she would rather be marching than celebrating with friends.

“I’ve always been very sad about the fact that my birthday is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” McCoy said.

College and high school students carrying banners made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue to the top of Capitol Hill throughout the afternoon.

Katie Haviland, a sophomore at Florida State, traveled 15 hours in a chartered bus with 56 other students to attend the march. Haviland and a companion recited prayers as they hiked up the hill.

“I think we need to be a voice for the unborn,” Haviland said. “I hope that people really just see the seriousness and how serious we are about our faith.”

Many of the protesters wore stickers supporting U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) in his presidential bid. Brownback announced his candidacy over the weekend and has already emerged as the favorite of the religious right.

Abbey Marr, co-president of Voices for Choices, said she joined a group of about 50 people who held a vigil at the Supreme Court later Monday evening. The sophomore said while leaders on both sides urged attendees to keep to themselves, harsh words were exchanged between the two groups.

“There was a lot of shouting about how selfish we are as women and a couple (people) said they would pray for us,” Marr said.

Voices for Choices, an abortion rights student group, held an official commemoration of Roe v. Wade Tuesday evening in the Ivory Tower common room. Marr said the group celebrates the day after the actual anniversary because many members are active in other events all over D.C.

She said although she does not support the “March for Life,” she does appreciate the opportunity it gives for the issue of abortion to be discussed. She said that her reward for taking some verbal abuse from protesters at the Supreme Court was her ride back to campus on the Metro.

“It was heartening to go and see (abortion rights) women there, and on my way back there were people on the Metro who said, ‘hey, I agree with you and thanks for going.'”

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