King’s Republicans March for Life
Chad Abbott (’13), co-founder of TKCR and member of its Executive Board, first attended March for Life in the spring of 2010 with a group of King’s students headed up by Bonhoeffer alumnus Wyatt Baker. In the spring of 2011, King’s did not send anyone to the march. After starting TKCR the fall of 2011, Abbott planned a return trip.
Six students (including Abbott) attended the March: Seth Parks (’15), Jeremy Hinen (’15), Chris Hanson (’15), Chris Kendall (’15), and Hanah Mayes (’15). Hinen, Hanson and Abbott are members of TKCR. Attendees boarded buses at 6:30 am on Jan. 23, arriving in rainy DC around 11 am for the day’s events.
"I have very strong beliefs for saving the life of unborn children, and I've always known that life is sacred at every stage of development," Mayes said. "I think it's great a lot of young people showed up who are not yet old enough to vote but are there to express their opinion."
Upon arriving in DC, students headed over to the National Mall to hear congressmen and others speak, then embarked on the march a little after 1 pm. Despite rain and relative cold, marchers pressed on until about 3 or 4 pm, holding signs, chanting and singing all the way. One large sidewalk sign along the march route pictured aborted American babies alongside tortured children of other nations, and a video later on showed similar grotesque images. Several women also shared painful stories from their own abortions over loudspeakers. At the end of the march, a handful of pro-choice protestors gathered near the speakers, countered by a small group of pro-lifers joining them to protest their presence.
After the march, King’s students visited their congressmen in the House Office Buildings, escorted through by Abbott, who worked for Congressman Todd Akin (Missouri, District 2) the summer of 2010. Akin invited TKCR to a reception he held in honor of the march for invited members of his district.
TKCR's leadership, consisting of Abbott, Jeremy Cerone ('13), Travis Drost ('13) and Christian Stempert ('14) began planning the march after Abbott proposed the idea. This is the first of TKCR's trips to DC, and they plan to return next month for CPAC, the largest annual conference for conservatives in the country.
"Eventually, I'd like to come up with enough funding that we could actually offer hotel rooms to people at a rate similar to what we charged them for just the bus this year," Abbott said. "We could get more people to go without the stress of an 18 to 20-hour day."