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40=55M

Pro-life: the Human Rights Issue of Today

40=55M

The 40th March for Life

Jeanne Monahan and Patrick Kelly

January 22nd marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and on the 25th we will commemorate that solemn occasion with the 40th anniversary of the largest human rights demonstration in the world, the MARCH FOR LIFE.  With the passing of the pro-life leader and visionary Nellie Gray, a change in leadership has occurred, and with this new leadership comes big plans for the March as we go forward. 

This year in particular we aim to raise awareness in the minds of all Americans of the 40th Anniversary and the toll this has taken on these United States. Our theme includes an equation--40=55M, to signify that in the forty years since Roe v. Wade, 55 million of our fellow human beings have lost their lives to abortion. Fifty-five million is nearly the population of California and New York combined.  Clearly, abortion truly is the human rights abuse of today and our theme this year reflects this reality.  

Participants in this year's peaceful demonstration will notice that we have made some changes to the program. The rally preceeding the March will be much shorter. In past years we have had more than fifty legislators speaking; this year we will have only a handful of congressional leaders. Many legislators are expressing their support via our website by posting youtube clips and sending messages of encouragement to Marchers. Other speakers will rally our young people, who are the heart and soul and vitality of the pro-life movement. These young people are not just the future of the pro-life cause, they are the present reality. Gallup and other polls indicate that young people are predominantly pro-life!

This year also marks a new broader approach to media engagement. It has often been the case that Marchers are disappointed and even amazed that the mainstream media gives very little attention to the largest civil protest in the world, the March for Life. But this year we are proactively interviewing with many such outlets with the firm hope of increasing education and awareness about the 40th anniversary March. One such outlet even wondered whether our crowds might be larger than the inauguration! On that note, also for the first time we will have jumbo trons.

We are embracing social media technology to much larger degree this year. We have a brand new website and an expanded social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

But what happens the day after the March? What do we do the rest of the year? We are the MARCH FOR LIFE Education and Defense Fund, and we plan to develop the education component of our mission as we go forward. The MARCH FOR LIFE is remaking itself to become a tool for pro-lifers to march from the steps of the Supreme Court and into their communities, their churches, their workplaces, and their families.  We want to build a culture of life not only on the anniversary of Roe and Doe, but on every day of the year! We will continue the interviews, op-eds, and advocacy throughout the year, and we will continue to be in touch with our marchers. This is especially true of our young people, through the new channels social media has opened up to get information out to our movement.

Now more than ever, the American people do not embrace the legacy of Roe v. Wade, with its 55 million victims. Pro-life is the "new normal", and states are enacting record numbers of pro-life laws. At this important moment in our nation's history, please join us for the 40th anniversary of the MARCH FOR LIFE with the hope that soon we will work ourselves out of a job.