WASHINGTON – In spite of freezing toes and fingers, youths from across the nation assembled Monday afternoon to take a stand for life and learn how to save lives in their own schools and communities.
The first-ever National Pro-Life Youth Rally took place in Lower Senate Park, complementing the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion.
Students for Life in America, Rock for Life, 40 Days for Life, and the Human Life Alliance sponsored the event to allow pro-life youths to gather with other young people from across America and get inspired to act.
BarlowGirl, an award-winning female Christian rock band, took the stage first, warming up the youths with its own passion and desire to be a voice for the voiceless.
Alyssa Barlow, lead vocalist and pianist, assured that "those who hope in the Lord will never be disappointed. If we continue to be a voice and not an echo we will make a difference and we will not be disappointed."
Rocking the drums, Lauren Barlow, shared 1 Peter 2:9 with the crowd declaring to each and every one of them, "You are the chosen generation."
"God is telling each and every one of you to live now. We are called to go out into this world and change things," Lauren encouraged. "Go be the change that you want to see in this world."
Paving the way for a slew of pro-life leaders, BarlowGirl ended their set with David Crowder Band's song "How He loves," singing that everything must be done in love.
Abby Johnson, former director of Planned Parenthood, spoke up first against abortion, reminding the youths that they are never too young to be active.
"God is calling each and every one of us today to take a stand against abortion and that means more than standing out here in the freeze for life. It's more than that. We've got to do more than what we are doing here today. We've got to take this message and do something more."
Johnson, like many of the speakers that afternoon, urged the youths not to let the march stop there. "Every day we are not active in this movement, every day that we are not fighting for these children and these women, almost 4,000 children will die. We've got to be active, we've got to keep this fire active in our soul."
Reiterating Johnson's call, Kristin Hawkins of Students for Life shared the stage and simply highlighted the goal of the rally. "The whole purpose was that when you go home tomorrow you know exactly what to do to save lives."
A pro-life action kit was distributed to all youths present with pro-life literature including a handbook that teaches how to share the pro-life message, music download cards, and action materials from buttons to chalk.
National Pro-Life Chalk Day takes place on February 3, 2011, giving youths another opportunity to express their beliefs on every sidewalk and chalk short pro-life messages in large letters.
One of the strongest messages that resonated with the audience was that of Bryan Kemper of Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.
Every year on the third Tuesday in October, students all across the world are asked to take a vow of silence for one day. Anytime anyone asks them to speak, they hand them a flier that says, "I am being silent in solidarity with the 4,000 children that are dying every day."
Kemper reported that last year, 300,000 students from over 4,000 campuses in 28 countries went silent for a day, causing a stir across the board. Fifty three high school girls cancelled their abortions that day.
"Even if it's just one baby, it's still worth it," Kemper explained.
The youngest of the speakers, Lila Rose from Live Action, gave a testimony of one boy named Jeremiah.
"God told Jeremiah, 'Before you were even born, I consecrated you. Before you were even conceived, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.' And Jeremiah, this young kid, maybe he was in high school, he said to God but God I am only a youth, what do I say? I don't know how to speak."
Rose continued the story, "And God said to Jeremiah, and he is saying this to us, 'Do not say you are only a youth. For where I send you, you will go. And what words I give you, you will speak.'"
"God has given us a place to go, and God has given us words to speak. And that place is every place where the truth isn't found. And that truth is the truth that every human being is created in the image of God. We're going to fight for their lives until we see abortion ended in our country."
Each speaker, including Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life, and Jason Jones, executive producer of the pro-life film "Bella," testified to the change that occurred when just one person made a simple decision to act. The numbers were all staggering.
Among the figures are 3,599 babies who were saved from a simple prayer and fast for 40 days, and over 500 women who saw the movie "Bella" cancelling their scheduled abortions.
And all Jason Jones, and the rest of the cast and crew of "Bella" wanted was one; the name of one baby that was saved from the film.
Two sisters, Katie and Theresa Moraso of Michigan, who attended the youth rally both agreed to have been inspired by the gathering. "The rally gave us things that we could do to help change the lives of others. To be able to give in the little things that we do, from wearing a button to sharing about the pro-life message in the handbook."
Nine-year-old Christina Miliore of Virginia, asserted, "We don't do this to force woman to choose life. We do this to make hope."
A new generation of youth from all ages is being encouraged to take a stand and make a pro-life move. With little, baby steps.