WASHINGTON, DC – This Saturday, August 15, 40 young people from colleges around the country will converge as their 3 simultaneous cross-country walks across America conclude in Washington, D.C. With a group called Crossroads, they experienced firsthand the reality – supported by several recent polls, including one from Gallup–that a majority of Americans self-identify as pro-life. They encountered a warm welcome and outpouring of support as they passed through 36 states, thousands of municipalities, towns and cities, and logged 10,000 miles collectively during the summer pilgrimage.
“While the latest polling data is encouraging, we have long known that America is a pro-life country because, unlike polls that take a small, phone-based sample, we have had the advantage of directly interacting with thousands of Americans. And the support for the rights of the innocent, unborn has always been in the majority,” observed James Nolan, president and chief counsel of Crossroads Pro-Life. “The reality is that the Obama Administration is sadly out of touch with the values of mainstream America. We know because what we experience firsthand from local authorities, citizenry and civic groups is in stark contrast to the strident stances now coming from the leadership in Washington, D.C.”
The ill effects of such wrong-headed policies–like the so-called extremist list that named pro-lifers as a threat–were on display as a group of walkers sought to traverse the federally run Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Three female walkers were stopped immediately before entering the park by a male ranger who said they would not be permitted to continue unless they changed out of their pro-life t-shirts. The shirts are solid colors with the words “Pro-Life” emblazoned on the front. One of the explanations given was that other pro-abortion people in the park might find the shirts offensive. After involving legal counsel and senior management of Crossroads, the walkers were eventually allowed to continue. “There is no doubt in our minds that this was a case of thinly veiled harassment based on nothing more than political ideology,” stated Nolan. “We’ve seen this in the past from certain authority figures, but never before has it been so emboldened by an Administration that chooses to portray concerned young citizens as pseudo-terrorists. It is shameful, and frankly a great waste of national resources at a time when the economy is already suffering.”
Since 1995, Crossroads has organized 12 week long walks across America from the West Coast to Washington, D.C., to actively take part in rebuilding a Culture of Life in the United States. During the journey, each walker averages over 1,000 miles and takes an active role in the organization’s mission by speaking to parishes and pro-life groups. Crossroads walkers also engage local communities through peaceful, prayerful protests and sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics in the cities they travel through.