Jeannie Monahan Mancini, President and National Director of the March for Life, has extensively focused her career on women’s health and pro-life issues, fighting for both the unborn and those facing end-of-life decisions.
This time of year is especially busy for Mancini as she prepares for the national pro-life march, which typically brings hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, D.C. to stand for the rights of babies in the womb. The peaceful demonstration is held every year on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the doors to abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.
The 44th annual March for Life will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, beginning on the Mall and ending at the U.S. Supreme Court building. Special this year, Kellyanne Conway, the highest-ranking woman in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, is scheduled to speak.
Mancini accepted her current role in 2012. Prior to working for the March for Life, she worked for the Family Research Council and for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addressing numerous health issues domestically and abroad, and also for the Roman Catholic Church as an educator on various life and social issues. Currently, she lives in Virginia with her husband.
She has been featured on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS, as well as USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report.
Quite busy with the March for Life preparations, she graciously gave LifeNews time speak with her this week amidst her especially hectic schedule.
LifeNews: Please tell me a bit about yourself: what kind of home you grew up in, your hometown, childhood interests, anything interesting that readers may not know about you.
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JM: I was a “military brat;” we moved around quite a bit when I was younger. I am one of five children, in a close-knit yet politically and ideologically diverse family. I’m blessed to still have my awesome mom and dad with us.
LifeNews: How did you first become pro-life?
JM: I’ve always been pro-life, but deepened those beliefs when, after college, I worked with children who had been victims of abuse and neglect. My understanding of the inherent dignity of the human person from conception was strengthened in witnessing consequences of situations when people hadn’t been treated with the respect and love they deserved and needed.
LifeNews: How did you become involved in the March for Life?
JM: I was on the Board of the March for Life when the founder, Nellie Gray, passed away. The board voted to ask me to take the role of president.
LifeNews: What was your most memorable March?
JM: They’ve all been memorable but unique moments from each stand out to me. I experienced a profound peace amidst tremendous chaos on the day of the first March I helped to plan (2013) and found that to be a beautiful grace for which I was grateful.
Another moment was in 2014 when our social media campaign had an exciting reach … I’ll never forget Bethany Goodman from our staff and I talking through that after the fact, grateful and in awe. I also sense that this year is going to be especially memorable.
LifeNews: What do you anticipate happening with this year’s rally?
JM: I love the theme (Power of One) and lineup. I expect enormous crowds and enthusiasm.
LN: What do you anticipate happening with the pro-life movement long term under the Trump administration?
JM: Hopefully the enactment of common sense pro-life public policy. Even more, I hope that the culture is impacted in a positive way; that we can move the needle in the direction of a culture where abortion is unthinkable.
LN: What do you see as the biggest challenges the pro-life movement needs to overcome to carry out our mission and vision?
JM: There sometimes is a spirit of divisiveness and competition in the movement. Unity, hope and charity, generosity in terms of thinking well of others; giving benefit of the doubt, recognizing that each organization has its own mission will all be necessary to build a culture of life.
LifeNews: Outside of pro-life work, what projects or interests occupy your time?
JM: In the days leading up to the March for Life, I’m lucky just to get some prayer, sleep, food and exercise outside of work; but during the rest of the year I love spending time with family and friends, running, hiking, cooking, reading and music.
Find more details about the 2017 March for Life at MarchforLife.org.