At the 47th annual March for Life, tens of thousands of men, women, and children came together to march for the lives of unborn children. The march took place two days after the anniversary of the monumental Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion and continues to find resonance in subsequent decisions Casey v. Planned Parenthood and Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
The National Mall in Washington D.C. filled up with tens of thousands to celebrate life.
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) January 24, 2020
Here are some of the biggest moments we saw at this year’s march:
1. President Trump’s Remarks At The March For Life
President Donald Trump spoke at the March for Life, marking the first time a president attended the March — and by default, the first time a president has ever spoken at the March. His vocal attendance sent a strong message about his administration’s anti-abortion stance, which some have questioned in the past.
“They are coming after me because I am fighting for you,” Trump said.
In a notable moment of Trump’s speech, he spoke directly to young pro-lifers, where he called out college campuses for silencing pro-life voices on campus and reminded students they are not in this fight alone.
“We are protecting pro-life students’ rights to free speech on college campuses. And if universities want federal taxpayer dollars, then they must uphold your First Amendment rights, speak your mind.”
2. Thousands Of Young People
Contrary to the minuscule level of media coverage the pro-life movement receives, the campaign to protect the sanctity of human life is driven largely by young people. Every year, almost a quarter of attendees have been either high school or college students, often traveling thousands of miles to attend the annual march alongside their classmates. In 2010, the Washington Post estimated over half the crowd was younger than 30.
Indeed, in our coverage of this year’s march, we found ourselves surrounded by young people of all ages — from toddlers clutching oversized signs to high schoolers wearing coordinated pro-life swag. The march itself had an inescapable air of optimism. Upon looking in any direction, you’d be greeted by a smiling face. The march itself makes it clear that the pro-life movement isn’t focused only upon protecting the unborn but also upon celebrating the born. As one eighth-grader explained to us, the value of human life doesn’t suddenly change if the child is located within the womb.
3. Not All Pro-Lifers Are Religious
Secular Pro-Life is an an organization focused on winning the hearts and minds of those against abortion without relying upon faith. Though many derive their pro-life stance from their religious beliefs, given the growing secularness of the millennial generation, the secular pro-life movement fills arguably an important void.
Kelsey Hazzard, a spokeswoman for Secular Pro-Life, thoughtfully explained that this argument is not about being religious or secular; it’s about life and death.
“We take a secular approach to the abortion issue. The way we see it, this isn’t a theological debate… this is life and death. This is a human rights abuse,” Hazzard said.
4. Women Speaking Out Against Their Own Abortions
Several women were spotted carrying “I Regret My Abortion” signs. One woman agreed to speak with The Federalist under the condition of anonymity. She perfectly encapsulated the driving force behind the movement. Being pro-life is not to shame those who have had an abortion, but to prevent those choices from being made again. She represented the ‘Silence No More’ campaign, which gives a voice to pro-life advocates.
“There is a deep wound from men and women who had abortions and I think the ‘Silent no more’ campaign will address that. You know, I mean wounds get pushed to the side so often in our society, and I believe it needs to be addressed,” she said.