March On! | John Burger | CWR
Roe v. Wade anniversary draws pro-life activists to events in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and other cities.
Pro-life leaders find hope in the fact that 41 years after the Supreme Court was thought to have settled a controversy with Roe v. Wade, more and more Americans are unsettled about legalized abortion.
“We are waking up,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “We are waking up to the extremism of our public policy on abortion…. We are waking up to the pain that abortion causes.”
The trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell last spring, which exposed some gruesome practices that can go on in some abortion clinics, as well as a continuing focus on partial-birth abortion and the pain that babies can feel during an abortion have contributed to that awakening, pro-life activists said in recent interviews. Even the controversy over the HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act has potential as a pro-life teaching tool.
“For two or three weeks we heard about all the atrocious things happening in [Gosnell’s] clinic,” said Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. “Americans were impacted by it. Similar to the partial-birth abortion debate in Congress, these kinds of things bring to light the reality of abortion and some of the people involved in doing abortion and some of the women who suffer at the hands of this industry.”
Father Pavone said that while the abortion industry is “trying to pass it off as a benefit,” abortion is “hurting the people it’s claiming to help.” Like a bad product, he said, it “needs to be recalled.”
“There is an awakening here—more and more people knowing others who have manifested that pain in their own lives, more and more people experiencing it themselves. So all of this for the movement overall is a step in the right direction as we wake up out of denial.”
Monahan will lead the March for Life and the rally preceding it in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 22. Other speakers will include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family.
Led this year by students from Benedictine University in Atchison, Kansas, the march will follow Constitution Avenue up to the United States Supreme Court building where, 41 years ago to the day, seven out of the nine justices struck down most state laws prohibiting abortion.