The March for Life is taking place today, January 21st. The next day, January 22nd, is a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. These dates are meant to bring attention not only to the United States, but to the entire world, that “Equality Begins in the Womb.”
1. How Did It Start?
On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States made the landmark decision to invalidate 50 state laws restricting abortion, and make it legal in the case Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The next year, Nellie Gray, lawyer and pro-life advocate, organized the very first March for Life on Washington, D.C. on the somber anniversary of the judicial decision which is responsible for the permissive murder of over 61 million lives.
In the years since that first March, thousands have marched to protect the right to life for the unborn. In the 1990s, prominent pro-choice advocates publicly announced their change to support for the unborn including: Dr. Bernard Nathanson (founder of NARAL), Norma McCorvey (‘Jane Roe’ of Roe v. Wade), and Sandra Cano (‘Mary Doe’ of Doe v. Bolton).
2.What is the 2022 Theme?
The 2022 March for Life theme is “Equality Begins in the Womb.” This theme is meant to bring light to the fact that there is a severe discrimination against vulnerable unborn babies who some view as less worthy of life than those who have already born. In order to continue to build a just society, all of us must realize that every human person, from the moment of conception, is created by God in dignity and has the right to life.
Pope St. John Paul II said, “If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.”
3. Why Is It Relevant This Year?
This year’s March is particularly relevant considering the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Perhaps the most pivotal abortion case in recent United States history, it directly challenges Roe v. Wade as it dealt with the 2018 Mississippi Gestational Age Act that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is expected in the summer of 2022. The March for Life provides a unique opportunity to make known what “We the People” believe in terms of the sanctity of human life.
4. What Should I Say to Pro-Choice Protestors?
During the March, it is common to encounter several pro-choice protestors intent on thwarting the pro-life mission through propaganda, threats, and illogical arguments. If you are attending the March in-person, or participating via social media, knowing how to defend your pro-life position is extremely prudent.
There is a 3 step formula that can be used to help respond to the common phrases or arguments used by the pro-choice side which are easily refutable.
- Clarify the Issue: Arguments based on “choice” or “privacy” miss out on the essential issue- Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him/her is a serious moral wrong.
- Defend Your Pro-Life Position With Science and Philosophy: Use the acronym S.L.E.D. to bring attention to the fact that non-essential diffferences do not determine personhood.
- Challenge Listeners to Be Intellectually Honest: Ask the tough questions that remind your listeners to follow the facts, even if those facts pick apart their own self-interests.
Above all, remember to be charitable. Many men and women have been scarred by the evils of abortion and we should treat each person with dignity and respect. 1 Corinthians 13:1 states: “If I speak in human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”
5. I Can’t Make the March. How Can I Participate?
If you are unable to attend the March for Life in-person, or even via social media, take time to pray for those participating and especially for the over 61 million children lost to the sin of abortion. Pray for the intercession of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a woman who sacrificed her life for her child saying: “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it. Save the baby.”
You can also pray this prayer for the unborn by yourself or with your family:
God our Creator, we give thanks to You, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and and ever. Amen.
Visit The Station of the Cross for more authentically Catholic media content and listen to this episode of The Simple Truth where Jim Havens and Fr. Stephen Imbarrato discuss the various approaches to ending abortion.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Patron of the Unborn, Pray for Us!