People walk up Constitution Avenue headed toward the U.S. Supreme Court while participating in the 45th March for Life last year in Washington. The 2019 March for Life is Jan. 18 and the theme will be “Unique from Day One.” (Michael Reynolds, EPA | CNS)

UCF campus ministry heads to Washington to defend life

ORLANDO I Carly Grimison, a senior biology student at the University of Central Florida admits she wasn’t always pro-life.

But college led this young woman to a deeper prayer life and the more she learned, the more she began to question her own beliefs. “It’s been a journey for me,” she said.

Grimison is now part of the Catholic Campus Ministry and plans to join faithful peers on a trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18. She credits her studies in science with her change of opinion. She explained the fact that DNA is present at conception truly opened her eyes.

“That’s the whole reason that I’m pro-life now,” she said. “Science has always been something that I’ve loved and connected with. A lot of the arguments that convinced me were scientific.”

The campus ministry will join hundreds of thousands of others for a peaceful and prayerful public witness to defend human life and the rights of the unborn in the nation’s capital. This year’s theme “Unique from day one,” focuses on pro-life’s pro-science evidence. The march’s website explains,
“Medical and technological advancements continue to reaffirm the science behind the pro-life cause – that life begins at fertilization, or day one, when egg meets sperm and a new, unique, human embryo is created.”

Initially Grimison believed she could not be both pro-life and a strong advocate of women’s rights. But then she realized that both concepts — believing in the dignity of any life including an unborn fetus and the dignity of a woman — go hand in hand.

“Dignity is God-given. When a woman chooses to keep a baby, that upholds her child’s dignity and affirms her value of herself,” said Grimison, who added she had difficult conversations with both friends and family after she changed her own mind. “A lot of people don’t really expect young people to be passionate about something like this because it’s so against what is popular to believe right now, at least in our age group. It’s hard to put yourself out there to say what you believe when you know what kind of backlash you can receive from your peers.”

Brother John McCabe, of the Brotherhood of Hope, will lead the group from Catholic Campus Ministry. He is excited for students to experience the united faithful front.

“It’s good for us to be involved in saying this is not okay. The march itself can be an eye-opening experience for a young Catholic. It’s so much bigger than protesting Roe vs. Wade,” he said. “It’s a vast sea of people in a prayerful environment. For students to see this happening and experience it with thousands of people who want to be there is great. It’s like a giant Catholic reunion for the country. It says life is beautiful and this is important.”