By IHE Director of the M.A. Program in Human Rights William L. Saunders, J.D.
Thousands upon thousands gathered for the annual March for Life on January 24. The crowd was so large that it took hours to pass by the designated starting point. It was packed with young people from various colleges and parishes throughout the United States, carrying pro-life banners and signs of all types.
The actual marching — down Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court — was preceded by a rally near the Washington Monument. Speakers reminded attendees and those watching online that the theme this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. March for Life President Jeanne Mancini emphasized that the suffragists by and large opposed abortion, which they saw as a means of oppressing women. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, told the crowd that, at a recent pro life rally in New York City, protestors representing the Black Lives Matter movement, on hearing that abortion takes more black lives than the police do, threw down their signs and joined the rally.
For the first time since the March began in 1974, the president of the United States spoke in person to the crowd. (President Barack Obama was the first president to speak to the annual convention of Planned Parenthood.) Coming amidst the effort to impeach and remove President Donald Trump, the March and rally attracted attention from the media, which usually ignores it.
Originally published on 29 April 2020 at The National Catholic Bioethics Center