Easily the greatest human rights protest movement in history.
This week, I will be joining tens of thousands of other Americans from our country to March for Life. The March for Life grows in numbers and importance with every passing year; now, over forty years after the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in America, the March for Life represents the ongoing struggle for the heart of America’s future.
Here are ten reasons why the March for Life so vital for us:
1. The March for Life is huge. Every year, Washington, DC surges with unexpectedly large crowds (estimates are up to over half a million for last year’s march). It is easily the largest protest march to descend on Washington each year, and it is the longest running, most persistent protest movement the world has ever seen.
2. The March for Life is growing. Not only do the numbers grow each year in Washington, but other marches are springing up across America and across the world. The Walk for Life West Coast will take place in San Francisco. Last year, 50,000 attended. More are expected this January 25. Dallas, Texas hosts another huge crowd; the Mass there is being moved to the convention center to accommodate everyone. North Florida hosts a march in St. Augustine, and many more marches and rallies at state capitals occur across the country.
3. The March for Life is peaceful. I’ve been to the March for Life four times in the last seven years. Each time, the nation’s capital surges with crowds of joyful, peaceful and confident citizens. Like in other protests, passions are high, but the March for Life is different in that there is no rage, fury, or violence. The police presence is invariably mild-mannered, and there is no need for confrontation.
4. The March for Life is proactive. Marchers represent a widespread activist movement across the United States. While the March itself takes place on a January morning, the pro life movement is active in a multitude of different ways across the nation: in educational programs, media communications, academic and medical studies, legal activism, legislation and involvement in politics – the pro life movement is a force to be reckoned with.
5. The March for Life is grassroots. This is not a movement organized by well-funded lobbyists, internationalist big government or multinational big business concerns. The March for Life is a grassroots movement – busses arrive in Washington from ordinary churches, schools, and communities across America bearing ordinary students, families, children, and grandparents. This is democracy in action, with ordinary people making their voice heard.
6. The March for Life is positive. The pro-life advocates stand for something positive – they stand for the goodness, truth, and beauty of human life from conception to natural death. Those who advocate abortion – although they campaign on the issue of women’s reproductive health – are campaigning for death. A positive cause is for something. A negative cause is empty.
7. The March for Life is ecumenical. While Catholics predominate at the March for Life, it is clear that the issue is larger than one set of religious convictions. It’s wonderful to see banners proclaiming “Atheists for Life” and “Jews for Life”, “Muslims for Life” and “Feminists for Life.” Human life transcends religious divisions, and March for Life proves it.
8. The March for Life is young. The vast majority of marchers in Washington are not greying seniors who might represent the last refuge of rage against a Supreme Court decision forty years ago. Instead, the protesters are young people who do not remember the original struggle. This is important because the protesters themselves represent the future.