Prior to the January 20, 2023 March for Life (MFL), many people were speculating as to the participation, since the June Supreme Court ruling rendered (Dobbs vs Jackson) had overturned Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court Decision that made abortion legal in the United States. In fact I have spoken to many people who felt that the MFL scheduled since 1974 should be either canceled at the present date to remember the original decision rendered or rescheduled to June to celebrate the recent Supreme Court decision. Personally, I support keeping the current schedule to let our politicians know that the Pro Life movement is still active and that we are not going away.
Up until last year, I traveled to the event with a local parish in Queens, which had many parishes sponsoring buses. The pandemic changed that. In 2022, for the first time I traveled with the Diocesan bus leaving from the Diocesan offices in Brooklyn. This year my son and I traveled with the Diocesan bus again since many parishes still were not sponsoring buses, the aftermath of the pandemic. The Diocesan bus had just about all of its seats filled. The 2022 bus went off without any problems, 2023 however would be different. The bus was scheduled to depart at 6:30 AM. As we waited for the arrival of the bus, the bus captain Deacon John found out that the bus would be delayed since the scheduled driver had called in sick. The bus company scurried to find a replacement driver; however when it arrived over 2 hours late we knew that we would miss the Rally held prior to the MFL.
As our bus got closer to DC some riders were able to stream parts of the Rally. I heard parts of the speech given by current sports broadcaster and former NFL Coach Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl. Tony and his wife Lauren have adopted eight (8) children, thus demonstrating that there is a market for so called “Unwanted Children” and that adoption is a viable option despite what the Pro Abortion forces say.
I arrived at the rally near its end. I was able to catch the closing prayer given by Franklin Graham, son of the immortal preacher Billy Graham. The attendance at the rally showed no signs of shrinking in the wake of overturning of Roe vs Wade. As I write this article, I have not been able to verify this aspect. However many reports concur that that the crowd showed no signs of shrinking. As I started to march the throng of people showed no signs of losing their enthusiasm for the Pro Life movement. Chants of "hey hey ho ho Roe v Wade has got to go" were replaced with other chants. "No no we don’t need Roe" was one of the chants that replaced that chant.
As I marched I noticed that the crowd, as in the past, was comprised mainly of high school and college aged participants, thus there are no signs that the Pro Life movement is going away anytime soon. As I marched I met participants from numerous states, people had come from Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee, even West Coast states such as Arizona and California had participants. I also noticed that the March was not only a national story but was an international story. I saw a large crowd of young people dressed in Canadian garb (the Canadian Maple Leaf which appears on the flag). I met many other marchers from our northern neighbors.
Along the route there were a few Pro Abortion demonstrators present; however they were easily shouted down. It was not just the Canadian presence. As my son and I continued a TV crew from France asked us several questions about the state of abortion in the USA. They asked us about using high tech tools such as facial recognition to prevent residents in states prohibiting abortions from seeking abortions in abortion friendly states such as New York.
This year, for some reason, the route was altered. In past years, the MFL proceeded north of the Capitol past the Capitol and to the Supreme Court where the March ended. This year the MFL passed west in front of the Capitol, then turned south of the Capitol before ending at the Supreme Court. At first my son expressed his disappointment since in past years many marchers (myself included) turned around as we marched up the hill north of the Capitol to see the huge crowd behind us. The south street gave a similar view, I turned around and saw the sea of humanity which had joined me and thousands of others to let our elected officials know that we are not going away anytime soon. Of course at the Supreme Court there were a few Pro Abortion counter protesters, however they were just a speck that was hardly noticeable.
The trip home presented no special challenges. There are already talks about what lies in store for the 2024 March. As I reminisce about 2022, I see success. Apart from the 2022 overturning of Roe vs Wade, I know that the Pro Abortion efforts to codify abortion on a national level failed. Even though it passed the House in July 2022, its support failed in the Senate. With the House under Republican control, I know that codifying abortion will not happen on a national level. However, I see battles especially here at home in New York.
When I got home my son told my wife that she is missing out by not attending the MFL. He indicated that he is inspired by the event and wouldn’t miss another one (my wife had never attended the event). My son informed my wife of the many mothers who participated in the event who pushed their strollers along the route each smiling with their precious gifts of life. Along the route we spoke to many of these mothers. I asked one of the toddlers when her birthday was, the child responded April. When I asked as to when her’s brother’s birthday was, the mother informed me it was January 26th, he was born 5 days after she participated in last years’s MFL. It is obvious to me that the Pro Life movement is producing young soldiers who will pick up the fight for years to come.