A Weekend of Marching
22 January 2018
Credit: @March_for_Life (Twitter)
Washington DC hosted the 45th annual March for life on Friday, which was addressed by the 45th President of the USA, the first time a sitting President has addressed the March for Life.
The weekend started on a positive note for the pro-life movement in the USA as hundreds of thousands took to the streets for the annual March for Life. According to Fox News, the March for Life is the biggest pro-life event in the USA. It was started in 1974 by Nellie Gray, an activist and Catholic who died in 2012 at the age of 88. The March for Life in the UK normally takes place in May.
Today, the March for Life unites a diverse range of groups and individuals representing the pro-life ethos, and presents an opportunity to share experiences, celebrate successes. commemorate the lives lost to abortion, and unite under a common cause in the hope of enacting pro-life public policy and overturning the “biggest human rights abuse of today, of our time”.
Indeed, the morning of the 19th of January started with a pro-life victory in Congress; as the annual March for Life began blocks away from the U.S. Capitol, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring medical care for babies surviving botched abortions.
President Trump referred to this bill during his address, alongside other pro-life policies he has enacted in his first year as President. Mr Trump told the thousands of marchers who gathered on Washington's National Mall on Friday that "under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence and that is the right to life".
A pro-life conversion
While pleased with the outcome, some are quick to recall that this represents a change of heart for Donald Trump. In 1999, he told Meet the Press he was “very pro-choice” and supported partial-birth abortion. By the 2016 campaign, however, he was suggesting that women who get abortions should be punished—a statement he later retracted.
“Here’s the thing about Trump,” said Mallory Quigley, the communications director for the Susan B. Anthony List: “He says he’s had a pro-life conversion. I don’t know his heart, but it looks to me like he absolutely has, that his position is genuine. But the fact is that at the end of the day, either way, he sees the political saliency of this issue.”
Seeing the political saliency of pro-life
This description of Trump's position appears to contrast with what is evident in "mainstream" journalism, which has been heavily criticised for perpetuating a media blackout on the March for Life and, when reporting on it, failing to accurately represent the number of people in attendance.
In contrast, the pro-abortion anti-Trump Women's March, which started last year immediately following the inauguration of the new US President, received more than three times the amount of coverage than the March for Life in 2017.
A weekend of two Marches
The peaceful pro-life message gave way to the impassioned pro-abortion presence of the Women's March in Las Vegas and London two days later, which, once again, received wide coverage in English-language media.
Attendees and online spectators noted the difference in the atmosphere between the March for Life and the Women's March. Similarly to last year, the latter was marked by a presence of anti-Trump banners and pro-abortion and anti-Catholic slogans, both in Las Vegas and in London.
The March for Life in DC (above) and the Women's March in London (below)
Credits: ADW, LifeSiteNews, Twitter
A number of attendees at the March for Life took the opportunity to remind onlookers that the first feminists were pro-life, and that the pro-life position seeks to protect the rights of women in the womb as well.
Credits: Susan B Anthony List, LifeSiteNews
National Sanctity of Human Life Day
At the end of the celebrations on Friday, President Trump proclaimed today, the 22nd of January 2018 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
Even here in the UK, you can celebrate this American holiday by enjoying some of the best signs from the March for Life USA 2018, and get ready to join us in May for the March for Life UK:
News in brief: