Every year on the anniversary of the famous Roe v. Wade decision, a pro-life rally is held in downtown Austin.
Various speakers, activists and government officials attend the Texas Rally for Life, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Among the crowd are pro-life supporters; individuals who are against abortion. Included in this group, middle and high schoolers from Corpus Christi. This year, they were able to lead the march, while holding signs and banners.
Students from Bishop Gariga Middle Preparatory School and St. John Paul II High School have been attending the rally for over a decade. The morning of the event, students board buses and drive to Austin, and return later that night. Students say being a part of the rally is life changing.
"It was a lot of fun it was a really big experience," Abri Burns said.
Burns, an eighth grader at Bishop Garriga says pro-life rights hit home with her after a family member experienced a great loss.
"I got into pro-life because my mother had a miscarriage and because of that, a lot of women don't get to choose if their baby is gonna live or die so people who do get to chose I think they should chose life," Burns said.
Students at the two schools are educated on the foundation and values of life, aligning with the Catholic faith. A theology teacher at St. John Paul II Benjamin Nye said most of the students at the schools share the ideology.
"Events like this are the opportunity to take literally to the streets what we believe and allow our voices to be heard," Nye said.
Nye, a father of four and husband, feels strongly although it is a hot topic in today's society, adolescents are never too young to learn about the pro-life versus pro-choice debate. The teacher added being pro-life stems from one thing:
"It's love, the love for life the gift of life," Nye added.
Students are not required to attend the rally. Nye said it's completely optional and those who do go must pay their way and give up a Saturday. Students like Augustine Nguyen believe it's worth it. The junior says it's important to be educated on both sides of the pro-life, pro-choice argument.
"Your core beliefs are what form you so to have these beliefs at a young age is really important," Nguyen said.
Nguyen and his peers all agreed that listening to personal stories in addition to the governor was an inspiring experience and one they won't soon forget. At the same time, these students said they respect the pro-choice individuals.
All of the students said they plan on returning next year, including Abri, who's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
"I just tell them what I think and if they don't believe that, that's their decision, it was still empowering to see so many other people."
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