The annual pro-life March for Life on Washington DC is huge, and it seems to be getting bigger (and younger) every year. Crowd estimates are very controversial, but here’s what the Wikipedia entry has just to give you a sense of the scale:
The march has previously drawn around 250,000 people annually since 2003, though estimates put both the 2011 and 2012 attendances at 400,000 each. The 2013 March for Life drew a claimed 650,000 people.
The March for Life in 2013 was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which explains the huge numbers. Yesterday’s 2015 iteration was down from the high numbers, with early estimates of up to 200,000.
But don’t expect to hear about “hundreds of thousands” from mainstream media coverage. Don’t even expect to hear about “tens of thousands.” You might, if you actually go out and search for them, find an article about “thousands” of people marching. More likely, however, you’ll hear crickets chirping. This is one event the media does not like to cover.
For anyone who is already associated with the pro-life movement: you know how much this movement means. You know what is at stake in principles and in innocent lives. For anyone who might not know, however, let me just quote from an address given at the 2008 March for Life:
We contend, and we contend relentlessly, for the dignity of the human person, of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, destined from eternity for eternity—every human person, no matter how weak or how strong, no matter how young or how old, no matter how productive or how burdensome, no matter how welcome or how inconvenient. Nobody is a nobody; nobody is unwanted. All are wanted by God, and therefore to be respected, protected, and cherished by us.
We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person—of every human person.
You might not readily associate this quote, with its talk of support for young pregnant women and for babies even after they are born, because the stereotypes of the pro-life movement is sex-obsessed and devoid of compassion for anyone except the unborn. Well, whatever you may have heard, these words echo my convictions. They echo the conviction of every ardent pro-lifer I have ever met.
I encourage you to read the rest of the speech, which First Things reprinted today.
This is what we stand for.
This is who we are.