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By Keishla Espinal

Support for the Voiceless

January 23, 2023 | “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” That’s what people prayed as they walked through the streets of downtown St. Petersburg during the 3rd Annual Tampa Bay March for Life on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

The timing coincided with the National March for Life in Washington D.C. and the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.  

On June 24, 2022, Roe was overturned, but advocates are urging each state to undo the grave injustice of abortion by enacting pro-life laws. 

Along the route, nearly 200 people prayed, sang, and were a visible sign of support for preborn human life in the womb that has tragically been denied the right to life.

“I support being pro-life. I think abortion needs to be abolished globally. Life is the most precious thing on earth,” said Peter Hebert, parishioner from Epiphany of Our Lord in Tampa. Hebert has been to the March for Life in Washington twice, and this is his second time attending the Tampa Bay March for Life.

Pro-lifers marched through downtown St. Petersburg starting at Pioneer Park and finishing at City Hall where they were greeted by speakers, including Bishop Gregory Parkes.

“Your presence here today, each one of you, is a clear witness and public witness to your belief in the sanctity of every human life,” said Bishop Parkes. “Our ultimate goal is to foster a culture of life in which hearts and minds are changed, so that even the idea of having an abortion is unthinkable.”

Isabella Riano, a junior and Alora Peters, a senior at Saint Leo University, attended the March for Life with a group from their school.

“I attend the March for Life because it means advocating for the babies that don't have a voice because they are still in their mother's womb,” said Riano. “I feel like we can make a difference by just advocating for them.”

Peters said, “One thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are others who care about protecting the unborn. Oftentimes, people can be afraid of being judged and standing up for what they believe in, but seeing you stand up there gives encouragement to others to do the same.”

If you wish to learn more or participate in the efforts to pray for life you can go to Florida Preborn Rescue website which includes more on what they do and future events coming up.

“We continue to call on Catholics and people of goodwill to support and engage in the good work undertaken through these agencies.” Said Bishop Parkes, “My brothers and sisters, we pray that Christ will continue to guide us as we work collectively towards the full legal protection of every human life. May every child conceived be protected in law and welcomed as a gift of life.”

Click on the arrow below to view photos from the Tampa Bay March for Life. Photos by Keishla Espinal

2023 Tampa Bay March for Life