The national March for Life in Washington D.C. looked very different on Friday compared to past years. Normally, thousands of pro-life demonstrators would march through the Capitol in the yearly march, but this year the thousands turned to social media to watch as a few hundred hand-picked representatives of the pro-life movement marched in D.C. By Friday evening, a Facebook livestream of the event had over 200,000 views.
As the march began, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in the livestream, “It’s very different than any march we’ve had in the past, but it seems appropriate. We’re at such a crossroads culturally right now, and I think this march will be a lot more somber. People are a lot more quiet, very prayerful. I think we’re all considering where our culture is, where this new administration is, and praying to bring a culture of life.”
According to a January National Right to Life Council report, about 62.5 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973.
The March for Life demonstration is part of annual remembrances held by churches and pro-life groups around the anniversary of the decision. According to the March for Life website, the first march saw 20,000 attendees, with the numbers growing to 225,000 in 1998, and 200,000 in 2020.
“Late in October 1973, grassroots pro-life leaders became concerned that January 22, 1974, might come and go without properly memorializing the Supreme Court’s infamous abortion decisions and without petitioning Congress for redress,” the website states.
In 2021, March for Life organizers took a different tactic, citing safety concerns. “In light of the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic which may be peaking, and in view of the heightened pressures that law enforcement officers and others are currently facing in and around the Capitol, this year’s March for Life will look different,” an announcement stated.
But supporters turned out to other marches across the U.S. In Atlanta, the Georgia Right to Life hosted a march and memorial program last Friday on January 22. The Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life held a virtual march on January 22. Ohio supporters attended an outdoor Roe Remembrance memorial the same day, hosted by the Ohio Right to Life.
“We are most certainly in challenging and tumult times. It is the equivalent of a brutal storm on the ocean,” Ingham County, Michigan Right to Life President Ed Rivet said. “But we in the pro-life movement are not a ship tossed about in that storm. No, we are a lighthouse.”
Rivet urged peaceful demonstrations.
“Our witness must be maintained so the lost will find their way to safe harbor one day and the truth about the value of human life will be known again,” Rivet said. “We want justice for the unborn, we want justice for all human life, and the peaceful path for justice must come to us.”
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