“It’s kind of, for them, an introduction into what we hope for them,” she added. “Standing up as citizens, standing up as believers — these are our rights as Americans; this is what we do as Catholics.”
Jan Fox, who accompanied 37 students from Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, Pa., said she had attended the march virtually every year since she was brought to one when she was an eighth-grader in 1998.
“As a committed Catholic, we should always be optimistic,” she said, expressing her hope that abortion will be banned again. “Things can change.”
Many young protesters carried placards saying, “Defund Planned Parenthood,” on one side, and on the other side, “I am the Pro-Life Generation.”
Veronica Estigoy, 16, a junior who is treasurer of the pro-life club at Ladywood High School, a Catholic girls’ school in Livonia, Mich., said more teenagers probably fit that description than are willing to admit it.
“I still feel like we’re struggling,” she said of the antiabortion movement among teenagers. Too many teens consider abortion “a get out of jail card,” she said. “But I have the feeling something’s going to change, there are going to be steps taken so we’re not coming back here in another 40 years.”
Cathy Flowers, who came to the Mall on a bus with about 50 fellow members of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Annandale, said there was something auspicious about Roe v. Wade being 40 years old.
“Forty is a religious number,” she said.
“The Israelites spent 40 years in the desert. There were the 40 days and nights of rain for Noah. So I’m hoping maybe it will start getting better.”