For Life

It felt like a punch to the gut.

A woman walked past with an empty stroller, save a black cloth draped across the top and a sign that read “I regret my abortion.”

The tears fell instantly.

The emptiness. That soul that should have been here, but was returned too soon to God instead.

All the souls that have left us too soon.

The weight of it was oppressive and I wept for all those mothers missing their little ones’, those who never had a chance to live on this earth.


This was, I believe, my eighth opportunity to take a stand in a peaceful protest that occurs each January in major cities across the United States. My first few I attended in the place where it all started—Washington, DC. I walked with my college, Christendom College. My school shut down for the day, as it does every year, so that students would be able to attend the March for Life with no penalty to their report card. It’s the only “free” day during the school year. And, you know what? Nearly every student attends. I can think of a million other ways that would probably be more enjoyable than marching in the freezing cold of January through the streets of DC. But our generation, it feels deeply the loss of brothers, sisters, classmates, colleagues—millions of souls who never had a chance to take a breath and make a go at life—and we want to stand witness to this atrocity.

When I returned home to California, I began working as a youth minister at a local parish. Another opportunity to Walk for Life had begun in San Francisco. I invited my teens to join me and the response was astounding. Again, nearly every teen attended. Despite the stereotype that teens are lazy and don’t care, it is not what I witnessed amongst this wonderful group. They pulled themselves out of bed before dawn and prayerfully marched along, reciting the Rosary together and lifting their voices in song in remembrance of those lost too early.

Since then, every Walk I have attended has been as a mother. My layer of grief has gone deeper as I connect better now to the parents of those children lost. The encounter I described at the beginning, with the parents pushing the empty stroller, even as I write these words, makes my stomach hurt and brings tears to my eyes to think of their pain, their grief.


I hate the lies that have spread so pervasively making a woman or man believe that ending another’s life will make their life better. It never will.

It makes me sad that parents head into the clinics with the thought that this action will help them live a better life with no regrets. It won’t.

It grieves me so deeply that one life after another is being destroyed—my co-worker, my teammate, my friend. I feel their absence.

The Walk for Life is about more than just a demand for an end to abortion. {Oh, it is definitely that.} But it is also a chance to grieve for and remember all those beautiful souls that have been lost to us through this atrocious procedure, harming the very souls it claims to save.

[Tweet “The Walk for Life is a chance to remember all the beautiful souls that have been lost to us.”]

It is both a privilege and devastating to March/Walk for Life.  We must remember and we must continue fight for an end to this destruction.

Laurel Muff. Learn more about her here.

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