Troy Students for Life join national march

Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2017

Daniel Patrick went to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. for the first time last year with Troy Students for Life, the pro-life group at Troy University.

Patrick, now a Troy alumnus, got to attend the march again on Friday as his work with the group actually landed him an internship with the Leadership Institute in the nation’s capital.

“If it weren’t for me being at Troy University at the right time, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now,” Patrick said. “I would have never gone to the March for Life and I never would have connected with the Leadership Institute.”

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The two marches Patrick has attended so far will both go down in history, at least among those in the movement, as last year’s march took place during one of the biggest blizzards in D.C.’s history and this year marked the first time that a Vice President had ever spoken at the march.

“The march was fantastic,” Patrick said. “The crowd went crazy for (Vice President Mike Pence). It was really cool. He talked about how we’ve got to fight for adoption reform and also to have compassion and be gracious in how we communicate to the women going through this.”

Patrick said the mood during the march was hopeful, as many of the activists believe the all-Republican Senate and House in conjunction with a Republican President can push pro-life legislation through that had no shot under Barack Obama.

With Donald Trump set to appoint a pro-life Supreme Court Justice in the near future, there’s even talk about reversing the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which set the annual march in motion 44 years ago this month.

“Plenty of people said ‘This is great, but next year will really be the ‘March of Life’ because we’re going to get things done’,” Patrick said. “Kelly Anne Conway and Mike Pence were both there and they have Trump’s ear, and Joni Ernst was talking about how Congress passed pro-life legislation in 2014 but Obama vetoed it. I doubt we’ll reverse Roe v. Wade, but Trump has already signed to defund abortion on the international level and I think defunding Planned Parenthood is very possible.”

Patrick was one of the founding members of Troy Students for Life in the fall of 2014. Patrick said that the group formed out of a desire to educate students about the pro-life view and topics relating to abortion.

The group holds dialogue tables, documentaries and displays on campus to reach students with the pro-life message and is occasionally able to send members to Washington D.C. for the march.

Vice President Mike Pence told the crowd at the March for Life that anti-abortion policies were a top priority of the new administration, and President Donald Trump tweeted that the rally had his “full support.”

The March for Life is held every year in Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. While no official crowd estimates were available, the turnout was clearly larger than in recent years, when abortion opponents had less political clout. Many thousands huddled in the shadow of the Washington Monument and stood in long lines outside security checkpoints made necessary by Pence’s appearance.

“We’ve come to a historic moment in the cause for life,” said Pence, the first vice president to address the rally. “Life is winning in America.”

Pence said ending taxpayer-funded abortion and choosing a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia — a conservative Catholic who opposed abortion — are among the administration’s most important goals.

One of Trump’s first acts after taking office a week ago was to sign an executive order banning U.S. aid to foreign groups that provide abortions. Pence said more such actions would follow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.