OHIO VALLEY — Members of area churches recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 40th annual March for Life.
Thirty-seven people made the bus trip to attend the march. While most were local to Mason, Meigs and Gallia counties, one person was from Ironton and another from Westerville. The group was multi-generational with several grandmothers, parents and grandchildren all participating.
“We want to save babies,” Tim Stapleton of Gallia County Right to Life said, “This is all about the babies.”
Stapleton’s family was along for the trip, including his five children.
This year was especially noteworthy for marchers and was highly attended by an estimated 500,000 people from every state in the continental United States. The marchers remembered the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion with the slogan “40 = 55M” meaning 40 years equals 55 million babies aborted since the legalization of abortion in America. Also remembered was Nellie Gray who started the March for Life in the nation’s capital. Gray died in 2012. The rally focused more on reflecting on her contributions to the march and the pro-life movement. Organizers wanted to focus less on political rhetoric from politicians and more on personal stories. Jumbo-trons were a new addition to the rally and incorporated viral videos.
The trip was hosted by Gallia County Right to Life and St. Louis Catholic Church of Gallipolis. Stapleton organized the trip and worked with area businesses such as Stapleton’s Towing, Mercerville Convenience Store, Rio Tire, Foodland, Restoration Products and Appalachian Electric Power, Lakin to make the trip more affordable. Individuals also donated.
“We were able to get the cost down to $30 a person. That included two meals and the hotel room,” Stapleton said.
The group went over the night before and attended a special service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The group attended the rally and march the next day.
Other churches and organizations represented were: Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pomeroy; Sacred Heart Culture of Life; Knights of Columbus Council 1641; and Knights of Columbus Council 15569.
Stapleton said the group plans to send two buses next year.
“We want to get the word out earlier, so more people can come,” he said. He said it was open to all who share in the pro-life movement. Anyone interested can contact Stapleton at 740-256-6745.