On January 22nd, the 2015 March For Life took place in Washington D.C. The annual rally marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which acknowledged a woman's right to have an abortion. Thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered on the National Mall to hear speakers at the march rally, including Rev. Joseph Kurtz (the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), Carl Anderson (Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus), and various lawmakers. C-SPAN posted footage of the 2015 March For Life, which can be viewed here.
The D.C. metro area was brimming with anti-abortion gatherings in conjunction with the March for Life, including the following events:
- Choices 4 Life sponsored an evening talk in Mount Vernon, VA on January 20th entitled "Rape Conception Myth Busters". The workshop was intended to help anti-abortion activists respond to questions about rape-related pregnancies.
- Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion on January 20th entitled "Welcoming Every Life: Choosing Life After an Unexpected Prenatal Diagnosis", which discouraged parents from aborting fetuses with Down Syndrome and other disabilities.
- The National Prayer Vigil for Life took place on January 21st at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
- The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal sponsored a Vigil for Life at the Mother Seton Church in Germantown, MD, the same town where Dr. LeRoy Carhart performs late-term abortions.
- Students For Life hosted their 2015 National East Coast Conference on January 23rd in Upper Marlboro, MD, featuring speakers such as Family Research Council's Josh Duggar, Live Action's Lila Rose, Operation Rescue's Troy Newman, and Abby Johnson.
On the same day as the March for Life, the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Focus on the Family unveiled an upcoming conference. Evangelicals for Life will take place alongside the 2016 March for Life. "[W]e're wanting to cultivate a new generation of born-again men and women who care about the unborn, who care about their mothers and who care about consciences that are torn apart by the culture of death," said ERLC president Russell Moore, as reported in the Baptist Press.
Some Religious Right voices remain smug about the state of the anti-abortion movement. In a January 23rd commentary piece, Concerned Women for America's Penny Nance claimed that the March For Life was the "worst nightmare" of the pro-choice movement.
"The March for Life is always a somber event, even as we celebrate the enormous support for life in recent years. We march to remember the more than 56 million lives lost to abortion since the horrendous Roe v. Wade decision and to keep reminding the nation that we are better than this. We must do better.Considering that most Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned, I think Nance is overplaying her hand here.
And we are. For the first time in a long time more young people consider themselves pro-life than pro-“choice.” The abortion industry is so concerned about this trend they have even considered dropping the whole pro-choice label. The March for Life is the abortionists’ worst nightmare as the nation’s capital is overcome by thousands of young pro-life supporters and they are reminded of what the future awaits for them."
After the March For Life, some Religious Right figures reflected on the future of the movement. Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice-president of the Family Research Council, gave his fellow activists advice on how to ensure that abortion goes the way of slavery.
"When in the midst of a battle, it is hard to envision how to keep winning once the immediate fight is won, especially when the current battle is widespread and complex. But if social conservatives really want not just political victories but a shift in the cultural mindset such that abortion-on-demand will become as anathema as slavery, we need to think hard about what we can do to keep changing hearts and minds as we wage our present war against anti-natalism and human indignity and, once victory is achieved, how to sustain it indefinitely.What can I write about the March for Life that I haven't mentioned before? The rhetoric, the arrogance, the attacks on reproductive freedom, the utter lack of empathy for women with unwanted pregnancies never changes. If we cannot reason with anti-abortion activists like these, we must resist their efforts to undermine reproductive rights.
Does any of this mean pro-life advocates should decelerate our efforts? Not at all. But it does mean we need to expand the reach of our arguments about the dignity of human sexual intimacy as something reserved for two-gender, life-long marriage and the dangers of sex outside of the marital covenant. Education, persuasion, political activism and Godly prayer must always be our companions in this effort."
To read additional commentary, visit the following links.
Slate: What Frustrated Pro-Life Activists and Politicians Are Saying at March for Life
Mother Jones: The Group Behind America's Biggest Anti-Abortion March Now Says Birth Control Causes Abortions
RH Reality Check: I Am Tired of Politicians Using My Grief for Their Gain
The Daily Signal: 24 Signs Spotted at the March for Life