by Kelvey Vander Hart
Advocates for life flooded into Washington, D.C. on January 18th to take part in a 45-year-old annual tradition and the largest pro-life event of the year: the March for Life.
The 2019 March for Life drew thousands upon thousands of participants. Starting with a rally on the National Mall, the marchers walked from this gathering point to the U.S. Supreme Court building, giving witness to the strength of the pro-life cause along the way.
Begun in January of 1974 as a protest movement in response to the Roe v. Wade decision, the first March for Life consisted of a rally, march, and participants spending the remainder of the day lobbying their members of Congress after the conclusion of formal events. Since that point, the schedule has remained the same even as the event size has grown in leaps and bounds.
As the March has grown, the importance of giving the stage to the right speakers has increased in significance. 1998 was a particularly notable year and featured three prominent abortion advocates turned pro-lifers: Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL; Norma McCorvey, Roe v. Wade plaintiff; and Sandra Cano, Doe v. Bolton plaintiff.
This year also boasted an impressive slate of speakers, including Dr. Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn; Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.); Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.); Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.); and Ally Cavazos, president of Princeton Pro-Life.
Perhaps the most notable of the scheduled speakers, Ben Shapiro (editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire), did a live taping of The Ben Shapiro Show from the stage to start the morning. “Abortion is not just pulling a plug,” he commented. “Abortion is a violent act.”
In addition, while not on the pre-published schedule of speakers, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on the stage as well. When speaking of the legacy of the Trump administration, he stated, “This will be the generation that restores the right to life in America.”
Pence did not arrive empty-handed either; he also brought a recorded video message of President Donald Trump to play from the stage. Trump commented:
This is a movement founded on love and grounded in the nobility and dignity of every human life…I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence: the right to life.
The March for Life has been a voice for the voiceless for 45 years, and this year’s event was a reminder that it will continue to serve as such until the day when the lives of all unborn are protected.
Photo credit: Victoria Pickering via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0