Thousands Rally in Nation’s Capital for March for Life

by Katie Daniels


Bearing signs and banners that declared, “We are the Pro-Life Generation,” thousands of pro-lifers made the annual pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington D.C. The March takes place on January 22 and commemorates the 1972 Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand in the U.S.  Over 42 years, the March for Life has grown from a small demonstration into a massive event that draws thousands to the nation’s capital for a week of rallies, conferences, and masses, culminating in a march that winds through the heart of the city.

The March begins at the National Mall, where pro-life speakers ranging from activists to members of Congress address the crowd. This year, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the United States Catholic Bishop’s Conference, prayed alongside patriarchs from different Orthodox denominations in what he called a “sign of Christian unity.” High school senior Julia Johnson was also among the keynote speakers. Johnson, who traveled from North Dakota with all 400 students in her high school, identified herself as a member of the “pro-life generation,” saying, “Our generation has seen through the smokescreen of lies.”


From the National Mall, the marchers follow a route that carries them past the Capitol building and ends in front of the Supreme Court. The almost two mile trek can take more than two hours to complete as throngs of college students, families, priests, and nuns mingle and talk as they walk. Some groups pray the rosary; others sing, cheer, or simply take in the crowd around them. Andrew Craig, LSOE ‘17, says that walking with fellow pro-lifers was one of the highlights of his first trip to the March. “It gives you the chance to see just how many people value all life,” he said. “There was a great sense of solidarity and love among everyone there that I saw.”


The theme of this year’s March was “Every Life is a Gift.” In an editorial for The Hill, Jeanne Monahan, the president of the March for Life, explains that the theme honors the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which expanded opportunities for the disabled in the U.S. While “the March for Life fights for the right to life for every little one not yet born,” she wrote, “certain groups have a significantly less likelihood of being carried to term by their mother.” Such a group includes preborn babies diagnosed with fetal abnormalities, 85% of whom will be aborted. The statistic, Monahan suggests, makes it imperative to educate the nation and create “a culture of life.”


Thirty students from Boston College’s Pro-Life Club joined this year’s March, along with 25 students from MIT, BU, and St. Thomas More College. For freshman Alex Gum, his third trip to D.C. for the March was a chance to reexperience a connection with the thousands of other marchers. “It is hard to explain the feeling of knowing that the countless people surrounding you have the same thing on their minds and in their hearts,” he said. “It made me realize how a common goal can bring us all together.”


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