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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Chaperones gather Wednesday before a group of 77 Concordia Lutheran High School students head to Washington, D.C., for Friday's 45th annual March for Life.

  • Chaperone Kira Witte organizes name tags which have maps and other information for the group.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 1:00 am

Students marching for life

Off to Washington, D.C., to protest abortion

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Blackhawk Christian junior Lydia Flegge was excited to be on her way to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night, part of Allen County Right to Life's Life Defenders student organization.

Chaperones and 168 high school students from Concordia Lutheran, Blackhawk Christian and Lakewood Park Christian School in Auburn loaded their suitcases into the luggage hold of four chartered buses and hurried into Concordia High School to keep warm in the 16-degree temperature.

Inside they found their identification badges and bus mates, ready to make the overnight trek to join Friday's March for Life, a demonstration protesting the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.

“I'm really excited to show that there's an opportunity for hope in life,” Flegge said, “that Jesus Christ has given us hope (in the pro-life movement.)”

The bus arrives today in the nation's capital where students will do some sightseeing before making their way to Chapel Springs Church in Manassas, Virginia, where they will spend the night sleeping on the floor, said Abigail Lorenzen, Allen County Right to Life's operations and media director.

It is the 16th such trip from Fort Wayne, Lorenzen said.

Temperatures are expected to be in the low 40s and sunny, but the fact that the march is always in January and attended by about 600,000 people is a testament to the movement's strength, said Julie Perolio, vice president of Allen County Right to Life.

“People show up in snow, cold and blizzards,” Perolio said. “You know it comes from their hearts.” Perolio estimated that more than half the marchers are young people.

Solar Bowen, 16, of Fort Wayne and a student at Lakewood Park Christian, said he had studied laws concerning the decision and abortion and was prepared to make a stand.

“If you're going to go out marching, it's really important to know what you believe,” Bowen said.

Lorenzen said President Donald Trump was expected to speak via livestream video during the march.