Trek across the country reveals a pro-life
from a 2005 trip
After weeks of witness on the
in church youth groups, and in front of abortion clinics, forty young
people will end their three simultaneous cross-country pro-life walks
across America in Washington, D.C on Saturday. The walk organizer said
the endeavor helped women to reject abortion and revealed significant
pro-life support. Three groups of young people with the group
Crossroads began their respective walks in Seattle, San Francisco and
Los Angeles on May 23. They collectively logged 10,000 miles across 36
U.S. states in 12 weeks.
Each walker averaged over 1,000
and spoke to parishes and youth groups. They also engaged in “peaceful,
prayerful” protests and sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics.
The effort has taken place
annually since 1995. This year’s walk will end with a 1 p.m. rally at
the U.S. Capitol.
Speaking in a press release,
Crossroads president James Nolan said the trip showed that America is a
“[U]nlike polls that take a
phone-based sample, we have had the advantage of directly interacting
with thousands of Americans. And the support for the rights of
innocent, unborn has always been in the majority,” he remarked,
charging that the Obama administration is “out of touch” with the
Speaking with CNA in a Friday
interview, Nolan said walkers spoke at thousands of religious services
and met with people one-on-one. He claimed the effort revealed a
“massive conversion” of youth towards religion and spirituality and
pro-life views. It also showed a “massive rejection” of the “culture of
death,” especially among the youth, he said.
Many who interacted with the
were “very, very supportive” of the effort. Nolan told CNA that people
are “hungry for truth” and for “something new,” and are not “buying the
old lies involved with the culture of death in general.”
He explained that participants
24 hours a day around the clock during weekdays, while on weekends they
would pray at abortion clinics, youth groups, and various religious
The Crossroads walk has
witnessed “amazing stories of conversion” and of women “choosing life,”
according to Nolan.
“There was one parish out in
Midwest where after the walkers spoke at one of the evening Masses a
gentlemen came up and asked if they had been praying at the clinic
earlier that Saturday.”
The walkers responded that they
“This gentleman said that he
actually been driving his daughter to the clinic for the abortion and
when they saw young people in T-shirts and praying the rosary, they
decided they just couldn’t do it,” Nolan recounted.
After turning away from the
the pregnant woman and her father then went to get an ultrasound. They
discovered she was carrying twins.
“The father was just in shock.
Before, he was just that close to choosing abortion. Now, he’s a
grandfather of two.”
He described the incident as a
moment of “real conversion” through the youth.
“When people see young people
really taking a stand, hearts and minds get changed. It’s pretty
CNA also asked about an
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado where a park ranger initially
stopped three female walkers from entering the park. According to
Nolan, the ranger said the shirts “might offend other people with
opposing views” and needed to be changed.
While the situation was
after half an hour, Nolan commented, “just the fact that young people
wearing pro-life T-shirts were stopped from entering, just in itself,
is an outrage.”
“There is no doubt in our minds
this was a case of thinly veiled harassment based on nothing more than
political ideology,” Nolan said of the incident.
Though Nolan told CNA that the
ranger did not mention President Barack Obama specifically, he said the
incident is indeed evidence of mounting pressure on pro-life groups
under the Obama administration.
Nolan reported that Crossroads
walkers had faced “harassment” under the Clinton administration but had
a “break” under President George W. Bush.
“With the Obama administration,
just seeing a ramping up of pressure on pro-life groups. It’s clear
that there has been a change in administration.
“That harassment has started up
again,” he charged, citing the Rocky Mountain National Park incident as
his group’s first “real clear example.”
However, Nolan was optimistic
about the future.
“The pro-abortion position is
definitely in the minority now,” he said. “The youth of the country
especially are returning back to the religious and the life-respecting
roots of earlier generations.”
Date: August 15, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.