Last spring, in March of 2018, Congress passed an Omnibus spending bill that continued to fund the nation’s largest abortion provider, despite a pro-life majority in Congress. March for Life and March for Life Action, along with the pro-life grassroots, were extremely disappointed. March for Life Action activists sent 25,000 messages to Capitol Hill to share that sentiment.
But that did not stop us from pressing forward towards the important goal of defunding Planned Parenthood. We began petitioning HHS Secretary Alex Azar to take action; thousands of marchers lent their voice to this important cause. And the Administration heard our voice!
In May 2018, HHS announced the Protect Life Rule, which would disentangle taxpayer dollars from funding abortion, with the money redirected to comprehensive family health and planning centers that don’t perform abortions and understand that abortion is not healthcare. As March for Life President Jeanne Mancini wrote at the time, “For decades the March for Life and others have been working to reinstate Title X regulations that clearly separate abortion from healthcare – abortion is not healthcare.”
March for Life activists continued to respond in support to the Protect Life Rule as it went through the public comment period at HHS, submitting over 13,000 comments in support of the rule. Overall, From March through July of 2018, March for Life advocates sent 89,000 messages to Congress about important pro-life policies related to defunding Planned Parenthood and the Title X rule.
The rule wound its way through the court system, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a bench that is not typically favorable to the pro-life cause, just last week upholding the rule. The March for Life welcomes the decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifting the injunctions on the Trump Administration’s Title X rule, and applauds the Trump Administration for letting the Protect Life Rule take effect immediately. Abortion is neither health care nor family planning and therefore should not be funded by the Title X program. Plus, a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. This regulation helps to get taxpayers out of the abortion business, without cutting resources for those in need.
We must not lose sight of why our efforts and the Protect Life Rule are important. Four years ago this month, in July of 2015, the first videos from the Center for Medical Progress were released, revealing the barbaric fetal tissue trafficking practices happening in Planned Parenthood centers across the country. An organization that commits over 320,000 abortions each year, and has been caught illegally transferring fetal tissue, should not be receiving a dime of taxpayer money.
There is also a very important lesson in the story of the Protect Life Rule. Our efforts to impact laws and policies for the pro-life cause have been going on for decades. In an op-ed for The Hill last year, March for Life Action President Tom McClusky documented the history of the regulations dating back to the Reagan Administration. The Protect Life Rule still faces a court challenge and it’s quite possible that its fate will be in the hands in the U.S. Supreme Court.
But we must never lose heart as we seek to promote life-affirming laws and policies – the lives of the unborn and the health of women are at stake. Our voices matter, and we must continue to raise them – in the public square, with our lawmakers and policy makers, and with our friends and family. Your voice matters – you can make a difference.
“We welcome the news that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed the Trump Administration’s Title X rule to go into effect. Abortion is neither health care nor family planning and therefore should not be funded by the Title X program. This regulation helps to get taxpayers out of the abortion business, without cutting resources for those in need, and is a victory for all Americans.”
The first half of 2019 has brought a few dark moments, and, conversely, many bright spots with regard to building a culture of life.
On the unfortunate end, several states passed the most extreme laws our country has ever seen, such as New York and Illinois passing “Reproductive Health Acts” allowing abortion up until birth, and, in the case of Illinois, create a “right” to abortion through reproductive health language.
These laws are in stark contrast to what the majority of Americans support. The fact is that the large majority of Americans for eleven years strong have consensus – a pro-life consensus.
Thankfully, we have also seen many states taking action to reflect the pro-life consensus and to protect the most vulnerable in the womb.
For example, in Louisiana, one of our 2019 March for Life speakers, Representative Katrina Jackson, was instrumental in passing legislation that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. The bill was signed into law by her fellow Democrat, Governor John Bel Edwards. Many other states have passed life-affirming laws as well!
The pro-life consensus in America is bi-partisan. Eleven years of polling reveal that 75% of Americans would limit abortion to- at most – the first three months of pregnancy. Even 6 out of 10 pro-choice Americans believe that abortion should have real, legal limits! And, two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini had the opportunity to talk about this pro-life consensus on the Ingraham Angle on Fox News last week.
Watch this powerful clip in which she emphatically states that social justice begins in the womb.
Even in the midst of the extreme abortion bills being introduced, or signed into law, we have seen pro-life Americans react with truth and love to the human rights abuse of today, as Jeanne Mancini describes abortion.
Just a few months ago, the Governor of New York had the Empire State Building lit up with pink lights to celebrate the passage of the extreme abortion law, the Reproductive Health Act. The law permits abortion up until birth with health requirements so broad and vague that abortion is available for virtually everyone. In most states when a pregnant woman is killed the accused is charged in a double homicide, for her life and the life of her child – under the RHA these murderers will no longer face charges for taking the unborn child’s life.
On Saturday, there was a much different celebration taking place. Thousands of people from across the country gathered in one of the busiest crossroads in America – New York City’s Times Square – to celebrate the sights and sounds of life.
The March for Life was honored to partner with Focus on the Family for the New York City celebration appropriately titled “Alive from New York” – an event featuring powerful pro-life stories and music, and most importantly, alive 4D ultrasound imaging of the 8-month unborn child of Abby Johnson. It was a bold event that was met with opposition at every turn, from digital billboard companies refusing to lease space to show the ultrasound images, to disruptive Planned Parenthood activists before and during the program; but the truth prevailed.
Alive from New York was a powerful reminder that our culture desperately needs truth. As I wandered the crowd, I overheard conversations sparked by the event. One young man said to an Alive from New York attendee that he was pro-choice but that he thought infanticide was clearly wrong and taking things too far. The ensuing dialogue allowed the pro-life person to gently question him about the difference between a newborn baby and a baby 8 months in the womb. I didn’t hear the end of the conversation, but I hope because of this encounter the young man has reconsidered his views.
The ultimate revelation of truth came at the end of the program when 4D ultrasound imaging showed the incredible images of a baby 8 months along in the womb. From my vantage point, the entire crowd went silent as we were all mesmerized by the life we were seeing. Then the heartbeat was played and we all erupted with cheers.
How can this reaction be described? I think it boils down to this – when you truly allow your eyes to be opened to the truth, the beauty of life evokes awe, wonder, and celebration.
There’s so much more that can be said about this incredible event – be sure to follow March for Life social media to read more about all the speeches and great moments.
Alive for Life concluded with a powerful song performed by Phil King and Francesca Battestelli. This line struck me: “They are not forgotten. We celebrate your heartbeat.”
A baby’s heartbeat is a beautiful sound of life; we cannot forget that a staggering 60 million of them have been lost to our country because of abortion since 1973. We must remember those lives as motivation to make abortion unthinkable in our future. I want to work towards and live in a world where every single heartbeat is loved and celebrated.
To honor their silenced heartbeats, we must be bold and faithful in defending and promoting life. That is why we march in freezing temperatures every January at the March for Life. I invite you to march with us again this year on January 24, 2020.
“As a birth mom of fourteen years myself, there’s no doubt that adoption is a choice that is difficult and selfless. We have made this choice out of love for our child, not out of abandonment. We place the needs of our child before our own wants or desires. Ultimately, birth moms have an amazing way of looking towards the future, and not so much at their past.”
Countless lives and even society and culture itself are impacted because of the courage and self-sacrificial love of birth mothers. Adoption is truly a noble and heroic decision and birth mothers should be celebrated!
Join us in working towards ending abortion and promoting adoption!
P.S. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy or are considering adoption, click HERE for more resources.
Just two months ago, Delegate Kathy Tran (D-VA-42) was asked in a legislative hearing if her bill HB 2491 would allow for abortion even when a woman is about to give birth and is showing signs of going into labor.
“My bill would allow that, yes.”
Watch the exchange in this powerful video from the Radiance Foundation:
Will you join us at the first official Virginia March for Life to reject this type of abortion extremism in Virginia?
First ever official Virginia March for Life will take place in Richmond, VA on April 3rd, 2019
RICHMOND, VA – The March for Life, in partnership with The Family Foundation, Virginia Catholic Conference, and the Virginia Society for Human Life, are thrilled to announce speakers for the first ever official Virginia March for Life. Speakers will include Melissa Ohden, a survivor of a saline infusion abortion and Ryan Bomberger, founder of The Radiance Foundation. Melissa Ohden and Ryan Bomberger will join Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life, Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation, Olivia Gans Turner, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life, and Felicia Pricenor, Associate Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference in addressing pro-life advocates who attend the Virginia March for Life in Richmond.
The Virginia March for Life, to be held on the “Veto” Day of the Virginia legislative session, comes after the controversy sparked by State Delegate Kathy Tran who introduced legislation that would, similar to the radical new law in New York, allow abortion up until birth, for any reason. Governor Northam endorsed this extreme pro-abortion legislation and even went so far as to suggest doctors could make a decision on whether to provide care for a baby that survived a botched abortion.
The March for Life urges every pro-life Virginian to take a stand for life at the Virginia March for Life on April 3. Learn more at VirginiaMarchforLife.org.
We have also updated our Frequently Asked Questions page with more details and information about the event. Click HERE for the FAQs.
Please join The March for Life, The Family Foundation, The Virginia Catholic Conference, the Virginia Society for Human Life and other pro-life groups at the Virginia March for Life on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 to reject abortion extremism.