In the 46 years since the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide, pro-life Americans have rallied each January — marching in the nation’s capital and across the country to show their support for the unborn child. This year, the largest demonstration, the 46th-annual March for Life, is planned for this Friday in Washington, where more than 100,000 abortion opponents will march from the National Mall down Constitution Avenue to the steps of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, in cities across America, pro-life marches and rallies allow citizens to express their opposition to abortion through peaceful demonstrations. In all, more than 85 rallies and marches have been organized to bring the pro-life message to local communities. Twelve of those events have already taken place, as defenders of life took to the streets in Chicago; Denver; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; and St. Augustine and Pensacola, Florida; as well as in Columbia, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; Casa Grande, Arizona; Elkhart, Indiana; Concord, New Hampshire; and Pineville-Alexandria, Louisiana.
Chicago’s ‘Unique From Day One’ March and Rally
In Chicago, a downtown rally Jan. 13 with the theme “Unique From Day One” drew 8,000-plus pro-life advocates to the city’s Federal Plaza. Colorful posters celebrated the uniqueness of each human life from conception forward and called for an end to abortion with slogans like “Love them both!” and “Save the baby humans!” Dawn Fitzpatrick, president of the board of directors for the March for Life Chicago, talked with the Register about the increasing popularity of the event (last year’s march drew an estimated 6,000 people). “With everything going on in Illinois,” Fitzpatrick explained, “people just wanted to stand up for the truth.” She added that there was a joy and excitement in the crowd, as diverse groups performed in Federal Plaza. “It was so beautiful! St. John Cantius’ Crusaders for Life with their yellow ‘Life Balloons’ were playing; there was singing and dancing on the plaza. Music was everywhere.”
A contingent of about 150 counterprotesters shouted nearby and held pro-abortion signs; but Fitzpatrick acknowledged that they had a right to be there. “Our prayer,” she said, “is that we might convert them, when they see how happy we are, how full of the light of Christ.”
Denver Pro-Lifers ‘Celebrate Life’
Denver’s third-annual “Celebrate Life” march and rally on Jan. 12 brought together diverse ethnic groups from throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Lynn Grandon, director of the Respect Life Office for the Denver Archdiocese, reported that more than 5,000 pro-lifers gathered at the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Grandon called the march “colorful and diverse,” bringing together people from different churches and ethnic communities. “This year we had Quinceañera girls carrying the banner,” Grandon told the Register, describing the 15-year-old young people who, in the Hispanic community, have a grand party as they approach adulthood, wearing colorful ball gowns and tiaras. There were Irish dancers, too. Hundreds of youth from Queen of Vietnamese Martyrs parish joined the crowd, as did a mariachi band, Aztec dancers with their feathered headdresses and gold-emblazoned costumes, Mexican salsa dancers and the all-male choir from St. John Vianney Seminary.
Denver’s march differs from those in other cities in that there are several pro-life Masses offered in various churches around the archdiocese. After Mass, participants are transported from those parishes by bus to the starting point for the march. Grandon told of one parish that offered “Bus and Burritos” — distributing lunch en route to the march.
In Raleigh, Three Different Pro-Life Events
In Raleigh, North Carolina, there were three separate pro-life events offered: the 20th-Annual Prayer Breakfast for Life, a Rally for Life and a March for Life. Barbara Holt, state president of North Carolina Right to Life, talked with the Register about the events. More than 300 people heard Dr. George Delgado speak at the prayer breakfast, explaining how pregnant mothers could have a second chance to choose life. Delgado developed a lifesaving treatment to reverse the effects of the RU-486 abortion drug when a woman changes her mind after taking the abortion pill. To date, Delgado has, by his count, saved more than 500 unborn children from the effects of chemical abortion. Holt didn’t have official figures for attendance at the march and rally, but she estimated for the Register that marchers were “in the hundreds.”
South Carolina’s ‘Proudly Pro-Life Weekend’
In South Carolina, the “Proudly Pro-Life Weekend” (Jan. 11-12) drew 1,500 participants to a dinner, march and rally in the state capital of Columbia. Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, told the Register that a number of South Carolina’s pro-life legislators attended, including Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Attorney General Alan Wilson and a number of representatives from the South Carolina House and Senate. Citing the 15 pro-life laws enacted in the state since 1988, Gatling reported, “We believe that pro-life laws, and electing pro-life legislators, have saved innocent human lives.” She also expressed her belief that the state’s network of pregnancy-care centers has helped women to find the help they need when facing an unplanned pregnancy, without resorting to abortion. In 1998, 8,801 abortions were performed in South Carolina; last year that number dropped to 5,112 — a decrease of 42%.
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