They can be seen standing on sidewalks in Sacramento and across the country with signs, literature or dangling prayer beads.
At Women’s Health Specialists on Ethan Way in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento, students from American River College Students For Life club joined other anti-abortion protesters participating in 40 Days for Life last month.
Katheryn White, the club treasurer, said she has “always prayed about it” but that “coming to American River College became (her) opportunity to become involved in the pro-life movement and actually do something actively.”
White said that while past anti-abortion protesters focused on chanting, the new generation of activists focuses on providing a “prayerful atmosphere” and “alternate resources.”
“We can’t go inside the parking lot but we stand (on the sidewalk) and hold our literature and if they respond positively, open their window, then we can go forward and give it to them and say, ‘Here’s some information about alternative resources,’” White said.
Daniel Madrid joined ARC Students For Life, a chapter of Students For Life of America, because of his strong feelings about abortion.
“From our perspective, abortion is murder and therefore abortion being legal in the United States is genocide,” Madrid said.
Madrid went with other students to the anti-abortion rally March For Life in San Francisco in January where protesters held signs saying, “We are the pro-life generation.”
According to a Gallup poll, the number of young people aged 18 to 29 who believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances has risen from 15 to 23 percent from 1995 to today.
Wynette Sills is a leading figure in Sacramento’s participation in 40 Days For Life.
“Our presence there at the sidewalk is not a picket, nor a protest, but a peaceful presence based on compassion and a desire to help,” Sills said in an email to the Current.
“Students for Life is a huge success story,” Sills said. “Young people are increasingly aware that abortion is the number one Human Rights issue of their generation, wherein the dignity of human life is tragically based upon whether someone is ‘wanted’ or ‘convenient’ or ‘perfect.’”
Madrid said that he feels his work with Students For Life is rewarding but that sometimes he wishes he could do more.
“When you take a position on an issue like this, your conscience is constantly reminding you (that) you could be doing more,” he said. “I don’t have to be taking classes or spending my time learning music, I could be devoting all my time and energy to this cause and sometimes I feel bad about that, but I do all I can do with the time that I do.”