Emily Dimmick, campus activist supervisor for Protect Life Michigan at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., led a group of 15 to the U.S. capital to attend the March for Life last month. The annual event, in its 48th year, began as a demonstration in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Organizers now say it’s the largest pro-life event in the world and envisions “a world where every life is celebrated, valued, and protected.” This was the first year for Dimmick, a member of Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Big Rapids, to attend.
She said about 150 students from Michigan traveled to Washington for the Jan. 21 march. “We gathered with hundreds of thousands of other pro-lifers to march the streets of D.C. for the sake of the unborn,” Dimmick said.
Sydney Princing, one of the students in the group, had participated in the March for Life before but said this experience felt different with closer friends and deeper involvement. She said she sacrificed classes she couldn’t make up in order to attend. For her, the best part was the day after the march on Jan. 22. The group counter-protested the pro-choice rally in front of the Supreme Court building. “It hurt to hear what the other side was saying, how they were making personal attacks … but … to pray with the people who were on our side of the barrier was just everything to me,” Princing said.
Mariah Bierlein, an FSU senior, said it was “amazing to be in a crowd … standing up against abortion.”
“I got the chance to stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves … at a time when history could potentially be rewritten,” said Katie Fodor, another FSU senior.
A Mississippi case currently before the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, could potentially overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, depending on how the judges rule. (See Church Worldwide: Before There Was Roe: Religious Debate Before the U.S. High Court’s Historic Ruling on Abortion, Dec. 3, 2021)
Many state marches are staged in conjunction with the national March for Life each year. A national March for Life in Canada takes place in May. Pastor Dirk Koetje of Prosper CRC in Falmouth, Mich., was one of about 100 participants in a Jan. 21, 2022 march in Cadillac, Mich. Koetje shared a brief meditation on the sanctity of human life at the close of the march. “We prayed for those affected by abortion and also for the Supreme Court justices whose upcoming ruling will directly affect the issue of abortion in our country,” Koetje said.
Related: The Christian Reformed Church’s position statement on abortion; Vantage Point: Legalization of Abortion and Anger in the Church (Oct. 11, 2021); CRC Office of Social Justice post on the issue of the sanctity of human life (Dec. 8, 2021).
About the Author
Eliza Anderson is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. A former educator, she lives in Paris, Michigan.