Marching in downtown Monroe

“I’m not pro-life. I’m actually pro-love,” said Tessa Holyfield-Hoff, a ULM alumni and Life March attendee.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, men and women marched in West Monroe and downtown Monroe for the lives of the unborn children who were aborted or will be aborted.

The Life March, hosted by Louisiana Right to Life, had around 3,500 people attend this event.

Many citizens came to the Life March to protest the Reproductive Health Act that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed.

The bill made abortions past 24 weeks legal if the fetus is not viable or if it affects the women’s health.

Also, a non-doctor, like a nurse practitioner, mid-wife or anyone with a title eight of education law, which includes a social worker, a dentist and a massage therapist, can perform an abortion.

At the Life March, many people had different signs with quotes like, “Stop Abortion Now,” “LIFE” and “A person is a person no matter how small.”

Kodi Barber, a Life March attendee, had a sign that said “Unborn  Lives Matter.”

Barber said that her hopes for the community were for people to become more aware of the importance of a baby’s life.

There were some attendees who had previously had an abortion, but were now fighting for the lives of the unborn babies.

One of these people was Heather Dawsey, a Life March attendee  and minister.

“At the age of 22, I took two lives. I did not know and did not understand the dynamic, the heart break, the depression and the life that I would suffer. No one told me that just because I was giving up something, I would live with something else for the rest of my life,” Dawsey said.

Barber also said that she almost had an abortion, but decided to raise the child instead.

While this Life March is an important aspect of making others aware that abortion is not the only option, Rachel Shamburger, a foster parent and a mother of five adopted children, said that foster care and adoption are important parts too.

“You can’t be pro-life without being pro-foster care. To make a difference, you have to get involved. If you can’t adopt, there are other things you can do,” Shamburger said.

At the Life March, there were many booths to learn more about foster care and other options available that exclude abortion. One of these booths was Connect 1:27.

Margie Nielsen, director of Foster Care and Adoption Ministries, shared that Connect 1:27 partners with pregnancy associations and supports the children, biological parents and foster parents in any way they can.

“We can help with the pregnancy all the way through childhood… We want everyone to know that they have the resources to choose life,” Nielsen said.