‘We will march until abortion is unthinkable!’ Pro-lifers gather at nation’s capital for 51st March for Life

The cold and snow didn’t stop thousands of pro-life supporters from attending the 51st National March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19.

“Choose Life,” “I Am Post-Roe Generation,”…

The cold and snow didn’t stop thousands of pro-life supporters from attending the 51st National March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19.

“Choose Life,” “I Am Post-Roe Generation,” “Killing Babies Isn’t Normal,” and “Make More Babies,” read signs being passed around by several individuals.

Every age demographic was present: high schoolers, college students, young professionals, parents, and retirees – all there for the same cause.

As the march commenced, several groups started chanting their disapproval of abortion.

“Abortion is violent and I’m going to act like it,” shouted one to the beat of a drum. 

The March for Life has been a staple of the pro-life movement ever since Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that determined abortion to be a constitutional right and invalidated the laws of all 50 states. One group estimates over 63 million abortions have occurred since then. 

The March considers abortion to be “the most significant human rights abuse of our time” and claims its event is “the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world.” In 2022, Students for Life of America estimated that roughly 150,000 attended.

Event organizers expected around 100,000 people to march last Friday.  

The 2024 March for Life was the second since the 2022 Supreme Court decision overturned Roe v. Wade and brought abortion law back to the states. Since then, over 25 states have passed protections for the preborn. 

The theme of the event, “With Every Woman, For Every Child,” reflected the dramatic shift in the national landscape over the past two years. Now that abortion is no longer a protected ‘constitutional right,’ pro-life groups are renewing their focus to help women and their unborn children. 

“That is the heart of what the pro-life movement is about – helping mothers and babies fully, humanly flourish,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, at the pre-march rally. 

In her speech, Mancini shared the story of a 19-year-old girl named Rachel who faced an unexpected pregnancy while also being in an abusive relationship. Through the support of a local pregnancy care center and maternity home, she was able to escape, choose the life of her baby, and eventually get the education to become employed as a nurse.  

“What does a woman most need when she is facing an unexpected pregnancy?” Monahan asked the audience. “She doesn’t need fear-mongering; she doesn’t need shame. What she needs to hear is you got this and I will help you. She needs to know that someone will support her in this act of courage and bravery.” 

Mancini pointed to the work of pregnancy resource centers across the country as evidence of the movement’s care for women, citing a recent report that in 2022, such centers provided over $350 million in free services, including “pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting education programs, baby diapers, wipes, formula, outfits and more.” 

“While the false narrative persists that pro-life Americans ignore babies after birth, the real story is that pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes and you are for women,” she said. 

The rally also featured several other speakers who shared similar perspectives.  

“This is a critical time to help all moms who are facing unplanned pregnancies,” Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson told the crowd, “to work with foster children and help families who are adopting, to volunteer and assist our vital pregnancy resource centers and our maternity homes, and to reach out with a renewed hand of compassion and to speak the truth in love.” 

Johnson noted two pieces of pro-life legislation he helped pass just the evening before: “Pregnant Students Rights Act” and the “Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act.” 

“We are passing these bills and are marching today because it takes a lot of work to convince people that every single human child, every unborn child, is of value and too profound and precious to ignore,” he said. “We have every reason to be optimistic, my friends, that we can change public opinion.” 

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, spoke next, expressing support for pregnancy resource centers while condemning President Biden as “the abortion president.”  

“[Biden] has weaponized the entire federal bureaucracy [and] aggressively promoted abortion on demand, including a full court press to force taxpayers to pay for it,” he said. “We reject the violence of abortion, dismemberment, child beheadings, and abortion pills that literally starve the baby to death.” 

The remarks of the two Republican congressmen were followed by a video montage featuring several congressmen and senators expressing support for the pro-life cause. 

Two women also shared their personal stories of how pregnancy resource centers saved them.  

Jean Marie Davis, Executive Director of the Branches Pregnancy Resource Center in Vermont, told about how from the ages of 13-29, she was trafficked between several states and eventually became pregnant. She was “looking at death.” 

“I wanted to die and I wanted my son dead,” she told the audience. “I had no life, I had no hope. But then I went to a pregnancy center in New Hampshire.” 

The woman who helped her “saved my son’s life,” she said. 

Aisha Taylor, author of Navigating the Impossible: A Survival Guide for Single Moms from Pregnancy through the First Year of Motherhood, shared a similar story.  

Taylor’s partner suggested they get an abortion after telling him about her pregnancy. She was “devastated” by his response. A few weeks later she found out she was carrying twins. 

“I cried,” she said. “I tried to move forward with the pregnancies. I continued with my doctor’s appointments. When I went to my doctor’s appointment, my doctor noticed just how much I was crying. So she told me about a local pregnancy center.” 

Taylor didn’t call them right away. In the pressure and fear, she called an abortion provider instead. But they didn’t pick up the phone. The pregnancy center, however, did. 

“They listened to me cry and reassured me that everything was going to be okay,” she said. “It was what I needed to hear to come to that appointment, instead of trying to call the abortion center again.” 

Taylor credits them for saving her twin’s lives, and she encouraged the audience to support women in similar situations. 

“There are so many people like me who need people like you to be there to give them hope and a pathway forward when they’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. So, I want to say thank you. Your work matters and we need you.” 

The rally ended with a message from former NFL tight-end Benjamin Watson, who was introduced by a surprise guest, the University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. 

Watson believes the pro-life movement is in a period he calls “The new fight for life.” 

“Roe is done, but the factors that drive women to seek abortions are ever apparent and ever increasing. Roe is done, but abortion is still legal and thriving in too much of America. Roe is done, but even so in the cold, in the snow, you have continued to travel from around the nation, to this place, to recognize that the Fight for Life is not over. 

“With uncommon courage, we want to do justice not only by protecting innocent people in life, but by correcting injustice and rebuilding opportunities are mothers and fathers can flourish. With deep compassion, we must love kindness by offering a continuum of care that provides lasting support.”