Students join the fight for life

Taylor+Gautreaux%2C+coordinator+for+the+Louisiana+Students+for+Life+trip%2C+poses+with+a+sign+in+front+of+the+Capitol+Building+during+March+for+Life+2020.+

Courtesy of Lions for Life

Taylor Gautreaux, coordinator for the Louisiana Students for Life trip, poses with a sign in front of the Capitol Building during March for Life 2020.

Students from the university traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the national March for Life, an annual human rights demonstration that takes place around the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion throughout the entire U.S.

March for Life 2020 took place on Jan. 24. A few university students attended the demonstration as a part of an organization called Louisiana Students for Life. LSL exists underneath the larger organization Louisiana Right to Life and works to promote pro-life sentiments on college campuses.

Andrew Goldkamp, a freshman criminal justice major, was one of the university students to attend the march this year. This was the first time Goldkamp had participated in the demonstration. He expressed enjoyment towards the freedom of the experience and towards being a part of the cause.

“For me, that’s always been a thing that’s a part of my faith – standing against abortion,” explained Goldkamp. “I just wanted to be a part of that kind of cause, also be there for people who have been a victim to that kind of thing because most of the people who have been through that are scarred from it. Just coming from a loving perspective, not like an attack like ‘Oh, this is wrong. You did that.’ It’s more like ‘Hey, it’s okay. You’re still a person.’”

Katharyn Jenkins, a senior biological sciences major, also participated in the demonstration this year. She shared that she has attended the event in the past and explained why she was interested in going again.

“I went on the march last year with the Diocese of Baton Rouge, and it was really awesome to see so many people that had the same belief system as me,” explained Jenkins. “I wanted to go again and experience it but be there for the cause of pro-life advocacy. It’s just something I’m really passionate about because I think people should be treated as people no matter the age of life.”

 

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For last year’s march, Jenkins went as a mentor with a high school group. This year, she attended with college-age students and shared that although the march was set up the same way, certain details changed the experience.

“Last year, it was more prayerful and pilgrimage-oriented because it was with the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge,” expressed Jenkins. “It’s also meant for teenagers, and I was there more like a mentor. So, that was from the religious aspect, and then this year was more secular. I went with college students, and it was more politically based—the logistics of being pro-life in a secular world. It was more like ’Be a good human for the sake of being a good human’ and not so much a ‘Be a good human because God says so’ kind of thing.”

Taylor Gautreaux, a sophomore social studies education major, has been attending the March for Life since she was a senior in high school. Gautreaux explained that she coordinated this year’s trip for the college students as a part of an internship that she had with Louisiana Right to Life.

Gautreaux described her favorite moment during the march, something she had never experienced in previous years.

“In particular, my favorite part, something I’ve never been able to really do, at the end of the march, I went and talked with the counter-protesters at the Supreme Court and had dialogue with them,” explained Gautreaux. “No name calling, no harsh tones. We just had conversation as two human beings who disagreed and brought ideas to the table, asked hard questions. I was a little scared, I’ll be honest, but that’s what we have to do. We have to have good dialogue with our brothers and sisters on the other side in order for hearts and minds to be changed about abortion.”

For anyone interested in attending next year’s March for Life or learning more about the event, all information can be found at marchforlife.org.

 

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