PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ One day after the anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, parishioners of a Providence church are on their way to the nation’s capital to call upon lawmakers to reverse it.
Dozens of members of St. Patrick’s Church boarded busses Thursday night to participate in the national March for Life rally taking place Friday on Capitol Hill. President Donald Trump is expected to be the first president to speak at the annual rally in its 47-year history.
“The march obviously focuses on the unborn, but you can’t not think about the mothers too who are bearing the children,” Pastor James Ruggieri said. “There’s life at the end of conception, there are two lives, the life of the baby and the life of the mother, so we want to show support for both of those lives.”
Emily Cuellar, a campus minister at St. Patrick’s, tells Eyewitness News she has a personal reason for supporting the cause.
“I was born premature,” Cuellar said. “The doctors kind of pressured my mom that it might not be the best decision to have me, but she pushed through, and I came out perfectly normal.”
For many St. Patrick parishioners, the march is a yearly tradition.
“You don’t really come back the same,” Brittany Curran said. “Sometimes there’s just kind of graphic posters that you see that kind of touch your heart a certain way. Sometimes it’s just people praying, or people singing a song, or people just being so happy to just march for something they have never done, or do every year.”
Eyewitness News reached out to Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization often highly criticized by pro-life supporters.
A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England said the organization works hard to ensure its patients can make their own medical decisions without shame or judgment.
“The question of when life begins is personal,” the spokeswoman said. “For some, it’s based on faith, and for others, it’s based on science. One thing we can agree on is that politicians aren’t the experts and shouldn’t make that decision for anyone. We believe every individual’s decision about their pregnancy should be respected and valued.”
The March for Life kicks off at noon at the National Mall.