There’s snow in the forecast today for our nation’s capitol, but the March for Life will go on.
Every year pro-lifers express their disappointment because secular media outlets give little attention to the March, one of the largest demonstrations of the year in Washington DC. And I–busy with other things, working on some other assignments, I almost found myself among them, saying nothing about the throngs who have come from all across America to join this demonstration of faith and courage and commitment.
And so here I am: Although I’m sitting in my warm living room, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have made the journey and who will march this afternoon in the blizzard, because Life matters.
For Catholics and others who believe in the sanctity of all human life, January 22 is an important day because it marks the forty-third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision which made abortion a fundamental right in all fifty states.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of faithful pro-lifers gather on the grounds of the Washington Monument, then march together down Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court. The event begins before noon with a rally, at which speakers including Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, Baltimore Raven and Super Bowl Champion Matt Birk, and US Senator Joni Ernst, and others will encourage the participants. Then at 1:00 p.m., as the snowfall becomes heavier, the march will begin. At 3:00 p.m.–the same time that the National Weather Service blizzard warning begins–participants will hear speakers from the “Silent No More” campaign and others deliver their pro-life message on the steps of the Supreme Court.
This year the crowd may be smaller due to the threatening weather. In Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a state of emergency, ahead of the storm which is expected to dump 18 to 24 inches of snow across the D.C. area. Likewise, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have declared states of emergency in their states.
So some pro-life groups who had planned to attend were forced to abandon their plans, unable to get to town due to hundreds of cancelled flights. Some (like the youth group from New Orleans) made the journey, then changed plans and returned home yesterday because their organizers feared the severe weather predicted for D.C. and for their route homeward. Some (like the group from Ann Arbor, in southeastern Michigan) cancelled their scheduled bus trip at the last minute yesterday.
But across America, we pray. We pray for safe travels for those who have made the journey, we pray for healing of our nation, and we pray for an end to abortion.
Ryan Hughes, spokesman for the March for Life, has assured that the March will go on. The National Park Service, which has authority over events in the nation’s capitol, considered cancelling the permit but decided that marchers should be permitted to exercise their constitutional right to protest.
If you are marching today, in Washington D.C. or anywhere in this nation, please be safe. Dress warm. Thank you for representing the rest of us.
If you are not marching, then pray–or join in a national fast for Life.
Image: By Miss.Monica.Elizabeth (Own work)