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March for Life History

January 22, 1973 is ingrained in the minds of pro-lifers because on that infamous historic day the Supreme Court invalidated 50 state laws and made abortion legal and available on demand throughout the United States in the now-infamous decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.

Nellie speaking at the MarchThe MARCH FOR LIFE in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world.  The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.

On this, the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we mourn the death in 2012 of Nellie Gray, the founder of the MARCH FOR LIFE and the "Joan of Arc" of the pro-life movement. In October 1973, months after the Roe and Doe decisions, a group of thirty pro-life leaders gathered in Nellie's home in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Roe. There was a fear that January 22 would pass as any other day rather than allow for a moment to reflect upon how legalized abortion had hurt women and taken babies' lives over the course of the year. That was the day that plans for the first March for Life began.


*Required Internal Revenue Service Disclaimer: The March for Life is a 501(c) 3 organization.  Please refer to IRS Publication 1771 for more information.

Commemorating Nellie Gray’s Work

For those who may not have known Nellie Gray, following the Supreme Court decisions in Roe verses Wade and Doe verses Bolton in 1973, she retired from her federal career and dedicated the remainder of her life to the protection of pre-born babies. With the help of others, Nellie founded the March for Life, and coordinated the peaceful protest right out of her Capitol Hill townhouse for the next...

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