For the first time in 47 years, March for Life is asking tens of thousands of pro-lifers to stay home and participate in its annual event virtually Jan. 29.
“In light of the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic which may be peaking, and in view of the heightened pressures that law enforcement officers and others are currently facing in and around the Capitol, this year’s March for Life will look different,” the organization said in a press release on Friday.
“We will invite a small group of pro-life leaders from across the country to march in Washington, D.C., this year,” the statement continued. “These leaders will represent pro-life Americans everywhere who, each in their own unique ways, work to make abortion unthinkable and build a culture where every human life is valued and protected.”
The first March for Life rally was held on Jan. 22, 1974—exactly one year after Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, making abortion legal nationally. Led by Nellie Gray, who worked as a lawyer for the Labor Department, a group of 30 pro-life leaders decided a march on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., would encourage congressional leaders to rescind Roe v. Wade.
“We just thought we were going to march one time and Congress would certainly pay attention to 20,000 people coming in the middle of winter to tell them to overturn Roe v. Wade,” she once told Religion News Service.
After that first year, when it became obvious to Gray that Congress wouldn’t find a legislative solution to protect the unborn, she gave up her legal career and devoted her life to the pro-life movement. Gray vowed to hold March for Life every year until Roe v. Wade is overturned. She remained active in the March for Life organization until her death in 2012, at the age of 88.
“The anniversary of Roe is a day of remembrance for those lost to us through abortion,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, tweeted. “While this year’s events in the nation’s capital are not what we all planned for, the Pro-Life Generation will still #Stand4Life.”
This year’s March for Life theme is “Together Strong: Life Unites.” Organizers say they look forward to resuming the in-person march in Washington, D.C., next year.
You can RSVP for the virtual March for Life here.
Photo: David K. Morrison/©2020 Samaritan's Purse