By Ricky Silva, SFLA Wilberforce Fellow
After we had gotten word that the decision would be postponed until Tuesday, NARAL huddled their supporters to discuss their next steps, took off their purple NARAL shirts, and started to leave. We, on the other hand, gathered in the front for the media and changed our chant to “LOVE THEM BOTH! LOVE THEM BOTH!” When we were done chanting, we gathered for group pictures. First, the whole group took a picture. After that, myself and Melanie, another Latina fellow, had decided that we wanted to gather all the rest of our Latino fellows and make a statement representing pro-life Latinos.
I am tired of abortion access being portrayed by the Spanish-speaking media as a Latino social justice issue. I know too well how Planned Parenthood operates by profiting off aborting babies of African American and Hispanic descent by taking advantage of my race. So we gathered all seven of us and filmed ourselves shouting “LATINOS POR LA VIDA!” That immediately prompted a reporter from the Latino news outlet La Opinion to take photographs of all of us pro-life Latinos.
At that point, Cassie, another one of our Latina fellows, pulled me over and said, “Hey Ricky! This reporter is looking for someone to interview in Spanish!” Immediately I followed her and gladly granted the interview. When I approached the reporter, she looked relieved to see me and said, “Oh good! I needed someone to talk to in Spanish.” She filmed me with her iPhone and asked me who I was and why this case was important. I went on to tell her in Spanish about how freedom of speech was on trial at that very moment because pregnancy resource centers were being forced to promote abortion services inside their walls when their primary purpose is to offer women life-affirming solutions and not death. She replied to me in Spanish, “But the government has to make make sure that women are provided with all the options.” I responded by telling her, “True. Pregnancy resource centers already provide information on what abortion is. But the problem is that they are being forced to tell them specifically where to get the service which is is contrary to their life-saving mission”. She then thanked me and told Cassie and I that we were going to see the story on La Opinion that day at 2pm.
After the rally, we headed back to ADF to wait to be taken to the airport for our flights back home. In the meantime, we all went around and shared inspiring words before departing. I said, “Never forget what you are fighting for. When you are tempted to give up, remember why it is that you do what you do. It is too important to abandon”.
When his turn came around, Jaylem declared, “One day soon, we will all be back at the Supreme Court when Roe vs Wade is overturned”. We all clapped in agreement, fully inspired. I had seen so much passion and commitment in my fellows, as well as a lot of other young pro-life leaders; there was no way that statement would not come true.
The rest of the time, we ate dinner, talked, laughed, passed around contact information, and watched The Prince of Egypt (which is apparently David Cordaro’s absolute favorite). Margaret and I’s departure time finally came and we started to head down for our ride to the airport. The rest of the group went down, but I stayed behind to say goodbye to a few good friends before I left. Selene, who also had to go catch her group, walked with me out to the lobby when we finished saying our goodbyes. When the elevator door opened however, I saw a familiar face. It was Kristen Waggoner, the attorney who had won the case Masterpiece Cake Shop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission! In my Civil Liberties class, I was assigned to play a justice in a Supreme Court simulation that we were doing on that case. I, of course, had chosen to rule in favor of the Christian baker’s freedom of speech and religious rights and the rest of the justices had ruled in favor of the gay couple.
To prepare for my role, I had heard the oral arguments on the case and watched a few videos online featuring Kristen offering legal perspectives. I had seen her on the Family Research Council, Fox News, The View, and the Megan Kelly Show. As she walked out the elevator, I turned to her and said, “Are you Kristen Waggoner? The one who won the Masterpiece case?” She responded, “Yeah, I am!” I extended my hand out and said, “It’s nice to meet you!” She asked Selene and I, “So what exactly is this?”, referring to our gatherings at ADF. I explained, “It is a fellowship for Students for Life of America. We were at the court today!” She said “Yes, I saw you! Thank you for being there, and thank you for your hard work!” She sounded just as cheerful as she did on T.V. I still couldn’t believe that it was really her. After that, I asked to take a picture with her and she graciously agreed.
The fight to end abortion in our lifetime is tough. There are a lot of hurdles to go through, hearts and minds to be changed, and people to be won. From my experience in Washington D.C., I saw that even though we are in for a long haul, there is more than enough passion, energy and commitment to defending life in our nation. And the best news? Even though at times in school we feel that we are alone or uncool for not believing in the so-called “right to choose”, the passion among diverse young people, and our drive and determination to defend life is unbelievably immense and growing. With all of this in mind, I believe that abortion WILL be abolished in our lifetime!