‘Life matters’: The pro-life journey of the March for Life interpreter
Washington D.C., Feb 2, 2021 / 04:00 am (CNA).- The 2021 March for Life was unprecedented, in more than one way.
While the event was closed to the public for the first time ever, it also included an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the first time. Jennifer Christie a pro-life advocate and founder of the nonprofit Love Louder, told CNA on Monday she was “so excited” to serve as an interpreter for the virtual March for Life rally last week.
“It wasn’t supposed to be about me. But I’m so pleased they plan on making the March accessible, and that the March for Life let me be a part of that,” Christie told CNA in an interview on Monday. Christie is a nationally-certified sign language interpreter.
“I don’t expect that most people would recognize who the little person in the box was,” she said, referring to her appearance on the March for Life webcast as speakers addressed the online audience.
Christie is also a pro-life speaker who shared her story with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly in 2018. While travelling for work several years ago, Christie was assaulted and raped. She later discovered that she was pregnant from the attack, and she and her husband chose life for their son, whom Christie calls “a gift.”
Christie felt called to share her experience—and that of her son—in pro-life advocacy; she founded Love Louder to help other women facing similar circumstances, assisting those impacted by sexual violence.“Our whole ministry has been about how life matters,” Christie said. “And if life matters, then life matters, period. That’s it. Regardless of how that life came to be, it matters.”
Christie said she learned American Sign Language as a child because she realized family friends were unable to hire babysitters for their deaf son; none of them could communicate with him in sign language.
“I remember thinking, ‘well I could do that,’” Christie said. “I thought it would be nice for them to be able to go out to dinner.”
She also took an ASL class in high school and was encouraged by teachers to pursue interpreting professionally—even though she had her hopes set on a Broadway career.
“But God had other plans for me,” she said with a laugh. “Looking back, it’s kind of cool how God planned for everything to work together.”
By the time Christie’s life “changed radically,” she said, she was already comfortable being in front of crowds given her work as an ASL interpreter at large events.
“That’s what God can do,” she said. “He takes something broken and makes it beautiful, uses it for His glory.”
Christie said she had waited for years to provide interpretation at the March for Life.
“I’ve been chomping at the bit to do this for so many years and this year it finally worked out,” she said. “It felt so right to be able to make the March for Life accessible to this community that I love. It was such a joy.”