Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
The 46h annual March for Life in Washington, DC, Friday was awe-inspiring in so many aspects.
A wide range of voices came together to speak out against the world’s biggest human rights violation: abortion. Catholics, Jews, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, former abortion workers, birth parents and adoptive parents, post-abortion parents, young and old, marched through the cold, listened to inspiring speeches, and prayed in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Donald Trump spoke via video hook-up and was greeted with thunderous applause as he promised to veto any pro-abortion legislation, in spite of Democrats taking a majority in the House.
“Today I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto,” Trump said. “And we have the support to uphold those vetoes.”
Vice President Mike Pence surprised even scheduled speakers with an unplanned visit and talk from the main stage. Second Lady Karen Pence appeared with her husband. “We’re the Pences,” the vice president said. “And we’re pro-life.” Pence also stated his support for his wife, who has come under fire for working at a private Christian school that does not hire openly homosexual staff. “And I couldn’t be prouder for my wife, our second lady,” he said.
“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation. We know that every life has meaning,” the president said in the video, followed by his listing the anti-abortion initiatives taken by his administration, and a promise that he will not sign legislation that “weakens” his attempts to limit access to abortion. “This is a movement founded on love and grounded in the nobility and dignity of every human life,” Trump said. “I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence: the right to life.”
Young conservative writer and editor of The Daily Caller Ben Shapiro, a religious Jew, highlighted this year's theme of “Unique from Day One.” The “viability” argument that suggests preborn babies don’t have a right to the life if they can’t live on their own outside the womb “obviously doesn’t hold,” Shapiro declared, because both young infants and many elderly people are dependent on others for survival. He rejected the inconvenience of parenting, saying parenting might be difficult, but it does not warrant destroying a human life. “There is nothing moral about the idea that you think you’ll be a bad parent so you get to kill the child,” he continued.
Shapiro called on all Americans to come together on the human rights abuse of our day. “The pro-life position does not have to be a partisan issue,” he said. “The only reason that so many folks believe it to be a partisan issue is because, unfortunately, one party in this country has decided to embrace the full-on abortion-till-point-of-birth position.”
"God who brings life and maintains it, he will remember us,” Shapiro concluded. “He will remember America and he will bless her. We are the guardians of His most precious creations. We stand between America and the darkness, and we will march until that darkness is banished forever and all of our children can stand together in the sunlight.”
“Righteousness doesn’t have to be popular, it just has to be righteous.”
Stunning signs read, “Adopted, Not Aborted!” “A Person's A Person No Matter How Small” “How Can we Be Concerned About Life on Mars While We're Unconcerned About Life on Earth?” “I'm A Child of Rape. Thank God My Mother Chose Life!” “I Regret My Abortion”
Other riveting speakers included Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None; Dr. Alveda King, Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn with Priests for Life; Dr. Kathi Aultman, fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Ally Cavazos, President of Princeton Pro-Life; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-life Activities Committee; Senator Steve Daines (R-MT); Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ); and State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-LA).
Before the March, Mass was celebrated by apostolic nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s personal representative in the U.S. He thanked those present “for the witness of your Catholic faith both now at Holy Mass, later on in the streets of Washington, and even more importantly when you return home.” More than 18,000 packed the arena for the annual Youth Rally and Mass. “Know that you are making a solid contribution to the renewal of American society,” he said.
“For the future of this vast country lies in the hands of young people like yourselves who believe that it has been created as one nation under God, and no human authority has the right to challenge the law of God.”