By Devon Mitchell
It’s a new semester for Roanoke College, and for this Maroon, I’m spending my time in the nation’s Capital, Washington DC. During my first full weekend in DC, people participated in pro-life rallies that took over the metros and streets. One of my roommates poorly timed a run through the National Mall and found herself caught up in the march by accident. These protests come at the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, protecting a woman’s right to choose.
Later this year, the Supreme Court is supposed to make decisions on cases challenging Roe v. Wade, including Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This case came from a Mississippi law banning most abortions past 15-weeks. The Courts heard oral arguments in December and will decide later this year. Participants of the pro-life march braved the s20-degree temperatures to show their disdain that women, who are not themselves, are choosing to make the best decision for their bodies and life.
Watching the March for Life take place in DC left a bad taste in my mouth. Not necessarily because folks were exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, but because of the way they came to other people’s homes and completely disregarded local mandates on masking. I find it a tad ironic that they were marching for “life”, while not even trying to wear a mask on public transportation or indoors, which is illegal. They gathered in large groups, endangering the people around them because they would not wear masks. I won’t say whether I’m pro-choice or pro-life (although I think you can guess), but I will say there is a way to respectfully assemble without endangering those around you. So, keep this DC tip in mind- if you’re coming to DC for any reason, remember to mask up and follow local mandates.