Every year for more than four decades, pro-life advocates have flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. in January to march for the rights of unborn babies. Many have marched bravely through harsh weather, including freezing temperatures, bitter winds and snow.
This year, the federal government shutdown will not stop the annual March for Life either.
“PLEASE NOTE: We plan to march even if the government shutdown is not yet resolved,” the March for Life states on its website. “We have marched for 45 years and will march again this year to end the human rights abuse of abortion.”
The peaceful human rights march will take place on Friday, Jan. 18 in downtown Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates are expected to travel from all across the U.S. to participate.
On Tuesday, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said she continues to be amazed by the sacrifices that people make to come to the march.
“One small example – a lady in her 50s – I met this weekend in Chicago who will travel – with many – overnight on a bus to March against the human rights abuse of today, abortion. #whywemarch,” Mancini wrote on Twitter.
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She noted that her staff and volunteers are very busy with preparations.
As we prepare for @March_for_Life on Friday I’m once again awed by our staff & Board, & others that help. They work tirelessly to make it all happen and continue to amaze me with their joy, enthusiasm & dedication. #thankyou #whywemarch pic.twitter.com/iqrLgrErNi
— Jeanne F. Mancini (@jeannemfl) January 15, 2019
CNS reports some pro-life groups have been planning their trip to D.C. for months. This includes hundreds of students from Franciscan University in Ohio.
According to the report:
“The shutdown really did not factor into our planning at all,” said Patrick Ford of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina. Director of campus ministry and the Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program at the college, Ford is the point person for the school’s pro-life contingent heading to the march.
“This year, especially, we have tried to make this trip more of a pilgrimage and less of a site-seeing event,” he told Catholic News Service in an email Jan. 10. “The venues we will visit — the (St.) John Paul II National Shrine and the Basilica of the National Shrine (of the Immaculate Conception) — are not affected by local politics, so our trip should be entirely unaffected by the goings-on in Washington.”
Ford added, “We look forward to another great March for Life with our hundreds of thousands of friends!”
The same goes for the 500-plus students coming in from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. They’ll be carrying a giant green banner and wearing winter hats especially designed for this year’s march, said Dominique Cognetti, a junior majoring in social work.
The annual march is held near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Since the 1973 decision, about 60 million unborn babies have been aborted in America.
Speakers this year include popular conservative speaker Ben Shapiro, former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Vice President Mike Pence is slated to speak at the March for Life Rose Dinner.
The theme is “Unique From Day One: Pro-life Is Pro-Science.”