On Sunday, Jan. 22, the 39th annual March For Life was held in metropolitan locations across the nation, including Little Rock.
According to junior Luke Helms, the Little Rock March For Life began and ended at the Capitol Building, and the event was followed by a ceremony on the front steps where Governor Asa Hutchinson, Senator Cecile Bledsoe and others spoke to the crowd.
Helms said he was given the opportunity to speak to the crowd as well, by invitation from the Arkansas Right to Life director Rose Mimms.
“I talked about how each one of us has a personal responsibility to be a light in a dark place,” Helms said.
Helms said he met Mimms at the Right To Life Academy in Washington D.C., where he interned for five weeks. Mimms said Helms is a “rising star” in the right to life movement.
“I start planning our next march in Little Rock the day after it’s over,” Mimms said. “We march every single year to remember and keep it in front of people that this Roe v. Wade decision is wrong, and thatunborn children pay the ultimate cost.”
Vice President for University Communication and Marketing Jana Rucker said that respectful protest is a valid way to create awareness of issues.
“As women, we have come a very long way in terms of rights and our place in society, and I think we should stand up for ourselves in a respectful, informed and persuasive way,” Rucker said. “Speaking from my personal views, I believe the Bible teaches that all human life is sacred. Our responsibility as Christians is to be pleasing to God, and that’s what I think we need to consider as we decide how to live and which side of issues we are on.”
The event was held the day after the Women’s March, a peaceful protest that also took place in cities across the nation, primarily in Washington D.C. where more than 470,000 people participated, according to the New York Times. Helms said that he does not see the March For Life as being any type of protest against the Women’s March.
“I don’t think they have to conflict, because within the March For Life, you have many women that are seeking the same rights as the women at the Women’s March,” Helms said. “The main difference lies with the people at the March For Life saying, ‘We want to extend these same rights to the people inside the mother’s womb. They deserve to be heard.'”
Junior Katelyn Perrett said she attended the March For Life for the first time this year and was proud to come together with like-minded individuals.
“There was so much passion in the atmosphere, and you could really see that this issue is on so many people’s hearts,” Perrett said.
Helms said that one of the goals of the March For Life is to change the perception of what the “right to life” means.
“It’s not just for women to have babies,” Helms said. “It’s for people to have life, and for people to have the right to live well. Regardless of how many lives we think will change, or how many people are listening, we are going to go at it our hardest no matter what. That is the root of this movement.”