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YWA at the California March for Life

By April 24, 2024YWA
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By Emma Garrison, YWA Ambassador at College of the Sequoias

On the steps of the California State Capitol building, I, alongside thousands of California citizens, gathered for a cause close to our hearts—the lives of unborn babies. On April 22, 2024, the Fourth Annual California March for Life was held to advocate for pro-life policies and demonstrate support for the pro-life movement. The California March for Life’s purpose was to demonstrate to elected officials that in a state that seems so blue, Californians are still pro-life!

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of California hosted a pre-rally concert and prayer time. Thousands were given the opportunity to lift their voices to worship the Lord; testimony was given about the effect abortion has on women, and many prayers were prayed, lifting up the victims of abortion and elected officials, and asking for a change in the current California abortion policy. I was able to stand behind the scenes of this event and soak in the joy of every person attending this event. My friends and I stood on stage during the last song, holding our posters advocating for the unborn. This event served as a huge testament to all those watching that there are young women in California willing to fight for and protect all women, especially those in the womb.

Following this event was the March for Life rally, where speakers from various backgrounds and organizations spoke on the causes, effects, and protections against abortion. Then, we embarked on a journey that echoed our commitment to the sanctity of life. We marched around the state capital, chanting phrases like “Pro-Woman, Pro-Life” and “I am the Pro-Life Generation.” As we marched, I saw the passionate faces of people and heard words like “bless the Lord” as individuals took in the events happening on the streets that were covered with protesters. Every shout and footstep I heard that day reminded me of the lives for which I was advocating. I walked alongside individuals of all ages and backgrounds, united by our shared belief in the inherent value of every human life, from conception to natural death. I encountered people and stories that etched themselves into my memory. I saw a dad with a baby girl strapped to his chest proudly holding a “Choose Life” poster. Seeing her sweet face symbolizes hope for the future, that this march aimed to save babies like her and change the political culture around abortion for her generation. My friends and I met a group of young students from a high school near our hometown; being a part of a group of students from the Central Valley, chanting pro-life sayings with unwavering determination in the hot hours of the afternoon showed me the spirit of activism that so many in my generation have.

As we walked chanting and holding our signs, we passed construction workers, business people, moms, and every type of person imaginable. Our message stayed the same as we went from block to block around the state capital: the electric energy of thousands standing in unity, in the presence of some who let out a cheer in support of our cause, and in the presence of those who are a part of our prayers. Our march represented the issues that attack women and womanhood every day. We marched for the unborn, but we also marched for the underrepresented, vulnerable, and voiceless women who are victimized by abortion and pro-choice ideology. Each chant against abortion was also a chant of compassion and a cry for justice for the women who are surviving in a world that is stripping them of their voice and place in society.

As the march ended, I felt peace and joy wash over me. I had just taken a small step in a more significant issue, strengthening the foundation of my generation’s commitment to building a California culture that cherishes and protects all life. The California March for Life was a testament to the power of community, conviction, and the Lord’s compassion. Being a Christian, conservative woman in today’s political culture is challenging, and standing up against loud voices can seem impossible.

One of the most impactful people I met was a woman fifty years older than me; I met her after the rally in a hotel lobby. She shared her testimony on how she had given up two of her babies to abortion, and the pain all these years later was still raw. Through her trembling voice and teary eyes, she said we were a testament to the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. In a generation and state that seems so lost, we were a sign that the Lord is unwavering in all His ways.

As I reflect on this March for Life, I feel hopeful that through prayer and advocacy, all the people who attended that march and are now in their communities across the state have taken back hope in a day and age that so desperately needs healing. I stood on the steps of the State Capitol building for every woman and child whose voice has been weakened and silenced by pro-choice ideology and to demonstrate that I am the pro-life generation.