The March for Life shows that popular opinion opposes abortion


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On January 21, 2022, Katie Shaw took to the podium at the National March for Life and faced a crowd of over 100,000.

Katie smiled at the massive crowd cheering wildly in front of her. Peering over the catwalk through thin-rimmed glasses, she appeared like any other ordinary young woman – and she was. But Katie has Down syndrome. According to pro-abortionists around the world, this meant that her life was not worth living.

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DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 15: Pro-life protesters march during the ‘Right To Life’ rally on January 15, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. The Catholic Pro-Life Community, the Texans for Life Coalition, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and the Diocese of Fort Worth North organized the Texas March for Life rally where people gathered to urge the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court decision that allowed states across the country to legalize abortion under certain regulations. The 49th anniversary of the decision to legalize abortion falls on January 22. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

As a woman with Down syndrome in America, Katie’s invitation to speak to such a massive crowd was rare. In many countries, especially Iceland or Denmark, where over 98% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, Katie may not have been alive to deliver her speech.

Yet the crowd went wild when Katie spoke out in defense of life and demanded equality for those in the womb.

“I’m proud to be here demonstrating to show the world that people, disabled or not, should have a chance to show the world God’s plan for them.” She said, “My parents never thought about giving me an abortion. They worked and planned with the doctors to help me have my wonderful life.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion activists attend the 49th Annual March for Life Rally Speakers Event on the National Mall on January 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.  The rally draws activists from across the country calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v.  Wade who legalized abortion nationwide.  (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 21: Anti-abortion activists attend the 49th Annual March for Life Rally Speakers Event on the National Mall on January 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. The rally draws activists from across the country calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion nationwide. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

As Chair of the March for Life, I watched Katie’s speech and the crowd’s exuberant reaction with gratitude and pride. After 49 years of tireless advocacy, the cultural impact of the March for Life was evident in the diversity, passion and joy of the hundreds of thousands of walkers in attendance.

After nearly 50 years, life wins

Almost 50 years ago, the abortion industry thought it had silenced the pro-life movement forever with the codification of Roe v. Wade in the law. Using euphemisms, betting on the lack of science regarding unborn babies and rebranding abortion as “women’s health care”, many believed the pro-life movement would eventually dissipate.

The future was pro-abortion — or so they thought.

Yet in the nearly half a century since then, the March for Life has defied all narratives and become our country’s largest, youngest and most dynamic protest. Every year, hundreds of thousands of marchers of all ages, races and nationalities gather in Washington DC to show our lawmakers that Roe is unpopular and not settled law.

Our movement has exploded since March 1, 1974, which attracted 20,000 walkers, to nearly 200,000 participants in recent years. Despite rain, snow or freezing cold, people from across the country descend on Washington DC each year to protest Roe’s injustice and unconstitutionality. Even the blizzards of 1987 and 2016, and the widespread fear of terrorist attacks after 9/11, failed to deter tens of thousands of people from coming forward to witness life.

Many have noticed the dedication and youthfulness of our walkers. At the 2010 March for Life, Nancy Keenan, former NARAL Pro-Choice America leader, marveled at the age and number of our walkers, saying, “I was just thinking, my God, they’re so young. There are so many, and they are so young.”

Like Nancy, many on the left have watched the success of our pro-life movement with surprise and concern.

Over the years, advances in science and technology have allowed us to prove the humanity of the unborn child and to demonstrate unequivocally that life begins at conception. The testimonies of former abortionists during the March for Life, such as Dr. Nathanson in 1998 and Kathi Aultman in 2019, were crucial in exposing the horrific truths about abortion and contributed to the growing awareness across the world. country that abortion brutally destroys the life of an innocent child.

We have also seen a growing number of prominent politicians bravely and publicly speaking out for unborn children at the March for Life. In 2011, a record 53 members of Congress spoke at the March for Life rally. In 2017 and 2019 Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the March for Life, and in 2018 House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a speech. And in 2020, Donald Trump became the first president of the United States to address the March for Life in person.

The March for Life has also expanded to 5 state marches and is looking to expand to all states. Just recently, Governor Glenn Youngkin participated in Virginia’s 4th Annual March for Life.

Our success demonstrates that Roe is not an established law.

The presence of so many prominent and powerful politicians at our national and state marches is a testament to the cultural and political impact of our movement, which after 50 years has made being pro-life both an acceptable and winning issue. In recent months, we are proud to see that many state leaders have been emboldened by such public support for life to move towards enshrining protections for unborn children in laws and constitutions. states across the country.

Just last week, a draft Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito said Roe v. Wade was “extremely wrong” all along that there is no constitutional right to abortion. If the Court’s final opinion formally overturns Roe v. Wade, our movement will finally achieve a goal we have been fighting for half a century and the regulation of abortion will be returned to the states to be decided by the people, through their elected representatives.

Recognizing that victory is on our side, pro-abortion activists have spent the past few months fearmongering a post-Roe world. This fearmongering is a desperate ploy to prevent abortion regulation from returning to the states, where popular opinion in each state would decide abortion.

Participants in the anti-abortion rally "march for life" make their point of view known by going to the Supreme Court.  (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Participants in the anti-abortion rally “March for Life” made their views known by going to the Supreme Court. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)
(Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Their concern is telling – if Roe were truly established law, they would have nothing to fear.

Yet the size and persistence of our movement over the past half-century poignantly demonstrates that Roe is unconstitutional and by no means settled law. Even pro-abortionist Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted in 1985 that Roe seemed “to have caused, not resolved, conflict.”

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Pro-choice Democrats vehemently oppose Roe’s reversal because they know public opinion on abortion is more complicated than they care to admit. Polls show that the more people know about Roe, the less they want him. Even the New York Times admitted that while 60-70% of Americans oppose the court overturning Roe, they also support restrictions not authorized by Roe, such as limits on abortion after the first trimester.

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The continued growth of the march and the recognition that abortion is unjust and unconstitutional is exactly why we show up, year after year – drums beating in the distance, a crescendo of songs and optimistic voices, a massive crowd of bright-eyed women, men and children marching peacefully in formation on Pennsylvania Ave., proudly carrying the banner: WALK FOR LIFE.

As Katie Shaw said in her speech at the 49th Annual Walk for Life, “I believe equality for you, me, for everyone, started in the womb.”

Thanks to the tireless work of the March for Life and the entire pro-life movement, the laws of our country may soon be allowed to reflect this.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JEANNE MANCINI


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