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Liberty University students stand up for those who can’t during sixth annual Virginia March for Life

In the shadows of the Virginia State Capitol on Wednesday, students from Liberty University stood united with thousands of other Virginians, advocating to put an end to abortion in the state and across America during the sixth annual Virginia March for Life.

Liberty University students participate in the sixth annual Virginia March for Life in Richmond, Va. on Feb. 21, 2024.

The group of students from Liberty departed campus for Richmond early Wednesday morning to raise awareness and support for the pro-life cause. Beyond just pushing for pro-life legislation in the Virginia General Assembly — with several lawmakers in attendance — those at the march also advocated for the importance of crisis pregnancy centers that support families in the case of an unplanned pregnancy.

The Virginia March for Life follows the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January. More than 1,000 Liberty students registered to participate in the national march. On Wednesday, some of the same students chose to march again, this time closer to their campus home. Both trips were sponsored by Liberty’s Standing for Freedom Center.

The march kicked off with a rally, where Liberty University President Dondi Costin joined several other keynote speakers, including Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Virginia State Del. Nick Freitas. Costin quoted Stanley Hauerwas, a theologian who once said about the pro-life movement, “In a hundred years, if Christians are identified as those who do not kill their children or elderly, we would have been doing something right.”

Liberty President Dondi Costin joins students in the Virginia March for Life on Feb. 21, 2024.

“Those words are especially prophetic in our culture,” he added. “If a hundred years from now, Virginians are known as the people who stand up for those at risk of being killed, because someone thought it was OK to trade human dignity for personal preference, we would have been doing something right.

“By gathering to march for those who can’t march for themselves,” he continued, “we lock arms with this singular truth in mind: When it comes to abortion, everyone knows it’s a baby.”

Shortly after the rally, Liberty students set off on the march around downtown Richmond, joining in the chorus of the many pro-life Virginians who chanted through the streets for all to hear.

Freshman Kelsey McCormick said she was inspired to attend Liberty when she saw Liberty students carrying the lead banner at the national March for Life in 2023.

McCormick said it was important to her to take part in the March for Life because, “without the right to life, none of our other rights matter.”

“It’s incredibly important for me because Scripture tells us that iron sharpens iron and bad company corrupts good morals,” she said about getting to march with her fellow students. “Getting to go to a school where our faith and political opinions are supported, it’s such a great thing for us.”

Rachel Guedry and Hayli Magno, both sophomores at Liberty, echoed that they were proud to attend a school that encourages students to advocate for their causes, and said they wanted to march on Wednesday for those who were never able to.

Students participate in the sixth annual Virginia March for Life in Richmond, Va. on Feb. 21, 2024.

“I wanted to come out here to march for the unborn who do not have a voice,” Guedry said. “They are not able to stand up for themselves, so it’s really cool to be able to be out here and be able to do that.”

While the two weren’t able to make the trip to Washington in January, they couldn’t pass up the chance to march in Richmond.

“There’s no event too small to spread the word that these babies are being killed and that we need to be standing up for them,” Magno said.

For many, like freshman Andrew McKnight, the issue of abortion lands close to home. McKnight said he knows family members and friends who have had abortions. He said as he marched in solidarity with thousands on the streets of Richmond Wednesday, it was reassuring to be with others who took the day to stand up for the pro-life movement.

“It’s encouraging knowing that I’m not alone, and we’re not alone in our efforts,” he said. “There are people here who believe what I believe and have the same heart that we all have for the unborn. This is a huge day for us.”

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