March for Life President Urges Advocates for Unborn: ‘Fight Like Heaven’

The Celebrate Life Conference is being held this weekend in Washington.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, attends the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2023.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, attends the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2023. (photo: Katie Yoder / CNA)

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini opened the Celebrate Life Conference with an impassioned speech calling for pro-life advocates to embrace a new season of fighting for the unborn.

At the event held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., Mancini shared her recollection of the moment she first discovered that Roe v. Wade had been overturned.

“I was interviewing on CBS the moment the decision came down, and I’ll never forget how my interviewer was not pro-life,” she shared as the crowd laughed. “She was shocked, as I was bustling and so happy, thinking of all of the marchers over the years, the collective millions that have made this moment possible.”

Mancini then became choked up as she recalled the second the news truly sunk in later that same day, stating: “I don’t think in my lifetime I thought Roe would be overturned, and to consider that it was overturned in our lifetime is just unbelievable. It is so easy to forget what a massive victory that was.”

Mancini acknowledged on the eve of the second anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade that the pro-life movement has since faced some setbacks amid a climate of “cultural confusion.”

Calling the enshrinement of abortion “rights” in Michigan and Ohio “tragic,” Mancini urged those attending to keep up the fight for the unborn.

“While we have had some losses, it is not an option for us to abandon this fight. It is absolutely essential for pro-life leaders, for lawmakers and citizens, to educate their neighbors on the harms of these ballot initiatives and what they do.” Mancini continued, “We are in the single-most significant human-rights battle of our time, and we’ve got to dig in.”

The March for Life organization has implemented state capital marches in 17 different states since 2019.

Sharing her experience of attending a Mass at the 2023 Michigan March for Life, Mancini repeated the words that Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, shared in his homily: “On a day like today, you want to fight like hell. But you have to fight like heaven. … We are called to fight with love at the heart of [the movement].”

She called on audience members to “pray and ask God for what he wants from you in this new season” and to “embrace your given pro-life mission.”

Additionally, Mancini cited a 2023 Charlotte Lozier study that found among women who had had abortions, 60% would have preferred to give birth if they had received either more emotional or financial support.

“I feel like this season is about addressing that 60%,” Mancini shared, before emphasizing the importance of promoting pregnancy-care centers and maternity homes throughout the country.

In closing, Mancini called pro-life advocates to: “Persevere; persevere; persevere.”

“Dig your heels in, as change takes time. We are in this for the long game, so persevere. You were made for such a time as this, now get out there and keep doing it,” she urged.

The Celebrate Life Conference is sponsored by the Pro-Life Women’s Conference, the National Sidewalk Advocacy Center, and Students for Life, among other organizations. The event will continue through the weekend with various other keynote speeches, breakout sessions and the Celebrate Life Rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, June 22.