Young Adults Celebrate ‘End of Death Roe’ Party
Recent celebration underscores ongoing need to support pro-life efforts.
On July 1 in Denver, more than 200 young adults celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade with a massive celebration, “the most momentous party in the last 50 years.” Catholic speakers Nathan Crankfield and Lauren Castillo spoke at the event.
The dress code was “classy,” and tickets to attend the party were $10, with 100% of the proceeds and donations going directly toward pregnancy-resource centers in Denver.
Levi Keene, a young Catholic in the community, planned the event. Although new to the area, Keene was impressed by the help and support from the pro-life community.
“I just started reaching out and wanted to see if anybody was hosting any sort of celebration,” Keene said, in the wake of the Dobbs ruling. “Nobody had anything planned, so I reached out to see if anybody wanted to help host a party, and, hence, the ‘End of Death Roe’ was born.”
The name of the event, “End of Death Roe,” comes from Crankfield’s Seeking Excellence podcast episode, “Escaping Death Roe: A Rant on Pro-Choice Catholics.”
Keene said the goal of the event was threefold — to celebrate and recognize the good that God is doing; to reenergize the Catholic community in this battle; and to fundraise for local pregnancy centers.
Keene expected the announcement of Roe to come out and had been planning the party in advance.
“I was elated. Even though there’s still a lot of work to do in Colorado, and in many other states, I think over 20 states have at least some restrictions on abortion now, which is a huge win for humanity,” Keene said.
With recent attacks on pregnancy centers in the area, Keene said they had a security team outside to make sure attendees stayed safe.
“We were somewhat concerned about protesters coming in and disrupting the event and causing violence,” Keene said. “There was an organized group of protesters who were at the Capitol building right next door. About 100 of them marched around our block twice, and they had no idea that we were there the whole time. We were protected by the Holy Spirit.”
Keene and his team raised $5,280 from the event. Coincidentally, Denver sits at 5,280 feet above sea level.
“There is still a battle to be fought here in Colorado,” Keene said. “The $5,280 raised was the elevation of Denver. This is where the next battle is to take place.”
Colorado is one of six states where abortion is legal up until birth. Keene stressed the reality that many “abortion tourists” may flood to Colorado to get an abortion.
“It’s definitely an uphill battle. This is a pretty liberal area,” Keene said. “But I think when you have an area that’s very anti-Christian, you tend to have almost a stronger Christian population. The Denver Catholic population is very much alive and on fire.”
Seeking Excellence in the Pro-Life Movement
Kimberly Basile, a friend of Keene’s, discovered Crankfield’s podcast just weeks before the event. Days later, Basile saw him at daily Mass.
“He was sitting right in front of me. I was shocked,” Basile said. “I introduced myself and told him I was already a big fan.”
Crankfield started Seeking Excellence back in 2020. His podcast covers topics from evangelization and mental toughness to professional life and arguing well. Crankfield is also a sales lead for Hallow.
“I was trying to figure out the answer to the question of, ‘What’s the best way to live?’ That’s kind of the foundation of it and trying to approach the faith in a different kind of perspective,” Crankfield said.
Basile invited Crankfield to a community brunch at her house, and during the brunch, he met Keene.
“I think people were really just excited that this happened,” Crankfield said. “This [Roe overturned] is a huge cause for celebration: We ought to celebrate. We ought to be excited about this. You don’t need to be ashamed of being excited about this.”
“It was just a great time of so much celebration,” Basile said. “We wanted to create some momentum to keep people’s spirits alive. We wanted our young-adult community to know that you’re not alone and that we are going to fight this together.”
Crankfield said there are two things he recommends to help bolster the pro-life movement: try one’s best to be a saint, and have courage.
“The pro-life movement in Denver is definitely pretty resilient,” Crankfield said.
Crankfield said it can feel like Catholics and pro-lifers are swimming against the current, as Catholic churches and pregnancy centers receive attacks, but he believes that won’t stop the pro-life movement.
“The most crucial thing is to keep the conversation alive,” Basile said. “Be brave and speak up. I think it’s so important for people to learn how to control their temper in heated debates, to avoid name-calling, and to avoid being harsh and hateful.”
Although the battle may be more intense than ever before, Keene said, it’s important to never give up.
“It is possible to win these battles,” Keene said. “We need to be compassionate toward the pro-choice community. We don’t want to gloat at them. And at the same time, we also don’t want to limit our celebration. These are things that are worth celebrating. The overturn of Roe is worth celebrating.”