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Unified in prayer for the sanctity of life

Girls from The Highlands School in Irving pray the Rosary outside the Southwestern late-term abortion clinic on Greenville Ave. during 40 Days for Life Oct. 20. TTC Photo/Jenna Teter

By Nicole Kim
Special to The Texas Catholic

As several Dallas police officers looked on, a sea of parents, faculty members and students from The Highlands School took out rosaries and began praying.

We had traveled from our school in Irving to a sidewalk near the Southwest Women’s Surgery Center in northeast Dallas on Oct. 20 as part of the 40 Days for Life campaign. Many of us have attended the annual Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe where Bishop Kevin Farrell has called on the youth of the Diocese of Dallas to pray and work hard for an end to abortion. This is the second year that students and teachers from our school have gone to the abortion clinic to do just that.

“The pro-life cause is very close to my heart and the hearts of our entire Highlands community,” said senior Rachel Wales, 18. “Life is such a powerful experience, and it serves as a reminder to us that the evil of abortion is continuous, and we, as the young people, must take responsibility to bring it to an end.”

Taking time away from their classes, students gathered into parent-driven cars and rode to the late-term abortion center that morning. Once arriving, the students, along with parents and teachers, aligned themselves single file, and faced the tinted windows of the building. We began to pray the rosary.

While some students knew what to expect, others had no clue of what would occur. The fact that two police cars–one parked adjacent to the sidewalk with its lights on, and the other, a van, parked across the street–were there, worried some of us. A policeman asked that the students remain in a single file line and not obstruct traffic.

Some drivers honked to show their support, and some drivers made rude gestures. At one point, an older man walked out of a building to yell at a group of people–not The Highlands group–near him to say that his granddaughter was having an abortion, and that the praying and lining up was not helping her at all.

A woman kindly told the man that they were all praying for him and his family. The man walked away. The students remained in their line, and continued to pray.

Afterward, the students toured the White Rose Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center, located only a block away from the abortion clinic. Students were shown the counseling rooms and sonogram room, and heard stories of women who decided not to have abortions.

After a couple of hours of praying and touring the crisis pregnancy center, the students  returned to campus, eager to tell others of their experience.

“It brought reality to the students that abortion is a present issue, and it affects all of us,” said senior Lauren Wright, 17.

For the students of The Highlands, the prayer-filled visit to the clinic and the counseling center was the culmination of a school formation class. The prior week we all saw ultrasound images of babies in different stages of development in the womb. Several students said the images made them pray harder for the innocent victims of abortion.

 “It is great to know we may have changed someone’s life by our testimony,” said 15-year-old sophomore Joshua Wales.

Nicole Kim, a member of The Texas Catholic Youth Advisory Board, is a senior at The Highlands School in Irving.