​NEWS ANALYSIS: The 44th annual event drew hundreds that thousands of serene pro-life pendant — and the vice president.

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A throng that pro-lifers descended on Washington for the March for Life 2017 on Jan. 27. (photo: Jeff Bruno/CNA photos)
After more than four decades of marching and also gathering across the nation to protest the catastrophic 1973 supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, the pro-life motion witnessed something extraordinary on Jan. 27 throughout the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

For the an initial time, the sitting vice chairman of the United claims took part, lugged the ideal wishes that the president and also delivered a speech pledging the new administration’s commitment come the cause.

Vice president Mike Pence electrified the numerous thousands in attendance that stood in ~ the zero of the top Washington Monument and also largely filled the nationwide Mall.

The appearance of the vice president was the strongest proof imaginable that the sense of optimism and renewed energy that surround the pro-life movement. And also the marches for life held throughout the country, from san Francisco and Los Angeles, and everywhere in between, come the nation’s funding drew several of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds ever seen. An approximated half-million world took component in the annual march in D.C. That had actually as its template this year “The power of One.”

The 2016 presidential election left the pro-life cause in an unanticipated place. Not only are both residences of congress under the regulate of pro-life leaders, yet the White House also is lived in by a new president in Donald Trump, who signed a pledge to support life. The is a historic moment, as numerous pro-life leaders have noted, and there is a sense of inert that much can and also must be completed over the next two years. Trump and also Congress offered the marchers in D.C. Added hope in his very first week, v executive assignment that began to dismantle the Affordable care Act that had had the infamous HHS mandate (requiring companies and spiritual organizations, consisting of the little Sisters of the Poor, to carry out employees with contraceptives, sterilization and also abortion-inducing drugs); regain the Mexico City policy that block foreign assist from being offered to fund organizations that promote or do abortions worldwide; and also passage in the residence of to represent of a long-term version the the Hyde amendment that avoids tax money from paying because that abortions in the unified States.

All the these breakthroughs only heightened the feeling of expectation at the march in Washington and also the joy of seeing the vice chairman on the phase in person. The vice chairman told the crowd:

“More 보다 240 years ago, ours Founders created words that have echoed through the ages. They declared these truths to it is in self-evident, that us are, every one of us, endowed by our Creator with details unalienable rights, and also that amongst these space life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Forty-four years ago, our supreme Court turned away from the very first of these timeless ideals. But today, three generations hence, because of every one of you, and also the many thousands that stand v us in marches favor this all throughout the nation, life is winning again in America. … girlfriend know, life is to win in America. And today is a celebration of that progression that we have actually made in this cause. You understand I’ve long thought that a culture can it is in judged by exactly how we care for its many vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. We have involved a historic minute in the reason for life. And also we must accomplish this moment with respect and also compassion because that every American.” 

The March because that Life came specifically one mainly after the inauguration of chairman Donald Trump and six work after the “Women’s March” drew hundreds of thousands of women to Washington, D.C. Observers noted, of course, the spicy disparity in tone and also outlook between the two gatherings. 

The speaker at the March for Life — consisting of Cardinal Timothy Dolan; Benjamin Watson, tight end for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens; Abby Johnson, previous Planned Parenthood director; Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst; Reps. Mia Love indigenous Utah and Chris smith from new Jersey; and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway — all spoke in positive and uplifting terms.

“I to be a wife. A mother. A Catholic. Counselor to the chairman of the United says of America,” Conway said, “and yes, i am pro-life! This is a new day: a new dawn because that life.”

Conway echoed the other speakers once she speak forcefully around the movement’s problem for life, the well-being of the unborn and the mothers who have had actually or space contemplating one abortion and the need to construct an authentic society of life.

“All women who face unplanned pregnancies,” she pledged, “should know they space not alone. They are not judged. They, too, are protected, and also cared for, and also celebrated. So, come the March because that Life 2017, allow me to make it an extremely clear. We hear you. We check out you. We respect you — and we look forward to working v you.”

In contrast, the Women’s March began supposedly as a grassroots initiative for ladies to it is in heard in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s inauguration. That was shortly hijacked by the pro-abortion movement, and also any company or team that did no hew closely to the abortion agenda to be either disinvited or blocked outright from participation, though pro-lifers did partake.

At the actual rally for the Women’s March, Madonna yielded an obscenity-laden decided in i m sorry she stated she pondered blowing up the White House, while Ashley Judd argued Trump dreamy of engaging in incest through his daughter Ivanka. The overwhelming focus, in both the speeches and also the crude and vulgar signs that could not even be aired or released by the media because they would have violated FCC criter of decency, to be abortion.

Playing out one main apart, the two occasions were the many vivid comparison imaginable in between the society of life and also the culture of death.


To no one’s surprise, media coverage was heavily biased toward the Women’s March, however just as the illustration of the vice president significant a pivotal minute in the background of the pro-life movement, so, too, go media coverage of the March for Life exceed all expectations.

Several significant networks sent reporters to the march, veterans of past marches listed that the media time was filled with news outlets, and also broadcast van were seen in unanticipated numbers. The new media scrutiny to be in part thanks to the president, who called out the tendency media for its bias and also lack of interest in the past, yet it was also because the pro-life motion is as well large, also young and also supported through too plenty of women to be ignored anymore, also by a greatly hostile secular press. The course, EWTN broadcast the whole day, reflecting pre-coverage as well together the rally and also march.

The resulting stories reflected this grudging awareness. The McClatchy News organization ran a story v the title, “March because that Life rallies in Washington, sensing win within reach.” Reuters reported, “Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway embolden pro-life crowd at ‘March because that Life.’” And also The brand-new York Times published a piece on Pence’s appearance in ~ the rally, “Anti-Abortion Marchers attract Inspiration from an i can not qualify Source.” 

No wise member that the pro-life cause is naïve enough to think, however, the there will not be a media pushback, or the the abortion industry, consisting of the now-imperiled abortion large Planned Parenthood, is no plotting a long campaign to block any type of sensible abortion restrictions or the official defunding of planned Parenthood. Those concerned around life have to brace because that an ugly and also vicious battle over the president’s choose for the can be fried Court, specifically given the pledge that the nominee will defend the structure in what Pence termed “the tradition of the so late and good Justice Antonin Scalia.”

But those are battles still come come. The joy-filled marches transparent America, bringing new and young supporters of life together with the women and also men who have actually struggled for more than 40 years, demonstrated the we have actually the strength and also confidence to bring the promise forward, not through anger, vulgarity or violence, but with love, prayer and also compassion.


As Vice president Pence said,

“Life is winning in America for numerous reasons. 

“Life is winning with the steady development of science that illuminates when life begins, much more and more, every day. Life is winning v the generosity of millions of adoptive families to open their hearts and also homes to kids in need. Life is winning with the compassion of caregivers and also volunteers in ~ crisis-pregnancy centers and faith-based institutions who minister to women in towns throughout this country. 

​“And life is winning with the quiet counsels between mothers and also daughters, grandmothers and also granddaughters, in between friends across kitchen tables, and also over coffee at university campuses. The reality is being told. Compassion is overcoming convenience. And also hope is beating despair. 

“In a word, life is win in America since of all of you. So ns urge girlfriend to push on. Yet as it is written, ‘Let your gentleness be noticeable to all.’ permit this activity be well-known for love, no anger. Allow this activity be recognized for compassion, not confrontation. When it comes to matters of the heart, over there is nothing stronger than gentleness.

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“I think that we will proceed to win the hearts and also minds that the increasing generation if our hearts first break because that young mothers and also their unborn children, and also if we, every of us, do every we can to satisfy them wherein they are, v generosity, no judgment. 

“To heal our land and restore a society of life, us must proceed to it is in a motion that embraces all, cares for all, and also shows respect for the dignity and also worth the every person.”


Matthew Bunson for the past 20 years, Dr. Matthew E. Bunson has actually been active in the area that Catholic society communications and also education, including writing, editing, and teaching top top a selection of topics concerned Church history, the papacy, the saints and Catholic culture. The is faculty chair in ~ Catholic distance University, a an elderly fellow that the St. Paul center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of end 50 books including: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We have actually a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and also best-selling biographies the St. Damien that Molokai and also St. Kateri Tekakwitha.