Though snubbed by Women's March, pro-life groups still participate

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller

By Rhina Guidos

(CNS) — After being removed from a list of partner organizations for the
Women’s March on Washington, members of a pro-life group based in Texas decided
they still would take to the streets Jan. 21 to take part in the historic and
massive event. And they said it was a good decision.

it was an amazing experience,” said Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, of New Wave
Feminists, one of the groups removed as a march sponsor.

were prepared for confrontation and instead were supported by so many women,”
said Herndon-De La Rosa told Catholic News Service.

group posted photos on their Facebook and Instagram accounts of their
participation, holding signs that read, “I’m a pro-life feminist.”

kept coming up and telling us how glad they were that we were there and how,
even though they didn’t necessarily agree on the abortion issue, they thought
it wrong that we were removed as partners,” said Herndon-De La Rosa. “It was
very cool.”

like Herndon-De La Rosa marched for a cause. In her group’s case, they are
concerned about President Donald J. Trump’s changing position on abortion and
say they wanted him to know they’d be watching what he does on pro-life issues
such as abortion, the death penalty and violence.

marched to voice disapproval of the new president. Many came from places near
and far and after filing past the streets near Washington’s most important
institutions, they filled the area near the White House where its newest
residents have a direct line of view toward the Washington Monument.

were hoping the newly minted president would hear or see them and consider what
they had to say.

Legowski, a parishioner at Washington’s Holy Trinity Catholic Church, said she
took to the streets “in support of values that I don’t see in this
administration.” Those values include equality for women and also caring about
immigrants who need help.

want to take a stand. I don’t want to be passive about it,” she said. “In our
faith we’re called to solidarity.”

means standing up against wealth inequality and defending the vulnerable, she
said. It’s a means of building the kingdom of God on earth and she doesn’t see
that as a priority for the new president.

a lot of women attending the march, she hosted other female friends, nieces and
a sister-in-law who lives in Germany, all of whom felt enough conviction to
travel to Washington and lend their presence to the numbers of participants.

Johnson, another Holy Trinity parishioner, attended the march with 11 nieces
and four grandnieces. They arrived in Washington from around the country, some
driving long distances and picking up other family members along the way. She
said she felt pride in her large group, particularly because they adopted the
values of her Irish Catholic immigrant parents and are concerned about the
common good, for women and for others.

wasn’t marching against a cause or person, but rather marching for women’s
dignity, she said.

went to a Catholic school where the nuns told me I’m a temple,” she told CNS. “The
march is for that dignity.”

she was excited to share that moment with a new generation in her family, she

women who attended said they didn’t feel president Trump valued that dignity,
particularly after a leaked recording was aired during the campaign in which he
was heard making lewd comments about women to an entertainment reporter.

Hogan, who once worked for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the
U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, said he was attending the march
with neighbors and friends because he feels that what Trump has said goes
against Catholic social teaching. He said he was hoping other Catholics, as
organizations and groups, as well as church leaders, would speak up more
forcefully for the poor and vulnerable at this time.

said worries about the new president’s stance on climate change, on the poor
and other issues that seem to go against what Pope Francis, as the leader of
the Catholic Church, says are important. He said he feels Trump lives and
espouses the opposite of what the church values, including family.

a citizen, “what (Trump) stands for is not what our participatory democracy
stands for,” Hogan said, adding that he could not celebrate his inauguration.
Ever since Trump was elected, Hogan said he has participated in various
protests and prayer events with other organizations because he worries about
what will happen to the vulnerable in society. The Women’s March was one of
those instances, he said.

organizers said the event was to “promote women’s equality and defend other
marginalized groups,” some pro-life groups that wanted to be partners in the
march were either removed as official sponsors days before the march — or their
application to be a sponsor was ignored.

an interview before the march, Herndon-De La Rosa told CNS no one contacted her
group to give them the news they were taken off a roster of sponsors, but they
found out after a flurry of stories about it. The groups And Then There Were
None and Students for Life of America also were denied or taken off the Women’s
March roster.

many members of those organizations attended the march.

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Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

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