STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — For the 50th year, thousands will pack the streets of Washington D.C. as a protest against abortion.

And after the landmark decision relating to it last year, Franciscan University says the culture is changing.

I think people are starting to realize, this is harmful for everyone. For the mother, for the father, for the children, for our society.”

Fr. Jonathan St. Andre, Vice President, Franciscan Life

The university says their work is just getting started.

Even after the strikedown of Roe v. Wade last summer, they say they’re ready to join the yearly nationwide rally once again to pray, cheer and bring their message to lawmakers.

Mary Stempky and Ricky Silva are two Franciscan students who have given the movement against abortion a younger image—and both say they began fighting for the issue as teens.

I heard a teacher in high school read aloud the actual procedures that are done on these…yes they’re fetuses, but they’re baby humans.

Mary Stempky, Franciscan senior

I was absolutely appalled, and I just felt an urgency.

Ricky Silva, Franciscan senior

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision ended the federal protection for abortion, meaning every state can now regulate itself on the matter.

Stempky says she wants to create what she calls a culture of life, where starting a family is celebrated rather than seen as a burden.

We need to remember a woman’s greatest power is the power to conceive and bear a child.

Mary Stempky, Franciscan senior

Despite Franciscan’s status as a Catholic university, Father St. Andre says it’s not a religious point of view to look for other ways to help those in difficult pregnancies…a point of view that everyone at the march shares.

You’re with the people who share that common desire to really defend life. I think it’s a beautiful witness.

Fr. Jonathan St. Andre, Vice President, Franciscan Life

The events will begin here at Franciscan at 10:30 Thursday with a holy hour, and afterwards students will board one of eight buses headed for Washington.

More than 400 students are making the trip this year—but Father St. Andre says the Ohio Valley has always been well represented at the march.