January 22, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the day the Supreme Court of the United States declared state laws prohibiting abortion illegal back in 1973. But this year’s march represents a milestone, as this was the first post-Roe rally, marking the court’s landmark decision on June 24, 2022 in Dobbs v. Jackson, declaring that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion”. According to an analysis of data from July and August by the Society of Family Planning, the number of legal abortions has fallen by 6% nationwide since then.
This was my fifth march down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C alongside peaceful pro-life advocates, and I was thankful for the mild, 51-degree overcast weather. As was expected, things felt a little different this year, knowing that the fight has changed, but there’s still much more work to be done.
In fact, the theme of this year’s march was “Next Steps: Marching Into a post-Roe America”. The theme is important because the pro-choice crowd and abortion lobbyists are still livid over their defeat and have launched campaigns to increase access to abortion in the states they control. Not surprisingly, a small group of pro-choice protestors demonstrated their opposition as we marched. So, even though we’re thankful for the end of Roe v. Wade, there’s still a lot of work ahead. Those who believe in the sanctity of life and care for those affected by unwanted pregnancies, we must do more to protect both the unborn and the mother. According to this year’s video, hearts and minds need changed so that our culture embraces life and love. Each human life should be valued, and abortion must become unthinkable. But until that day comes, we need to find homes for many of those babies who live but are unwanted. Adoption into loving, stable homes with a mother and father is crucial.
This year’s speakers did a wonderful job presenting a message of hope. Congressman Steve Scalise explained how former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, blocked the Born Alive Bill 80 different times from coming to the floor. A bill that would have protected babies born alive was despised by the Democrat party. But after eight days with a Republican majority in the house, the bill was passed and is now in the Senate.
Similarly, Congressman Chris Smith highlighted the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which is widely accepted by 60% of Americans who don’t want their tax dollars going to fund abortions. He also lamented how the Biden administration and the Department of Justice have ignored requests for an investigation into terrorists targeting pregnancy centers, churches and pro-life offices.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a pro-life Democrat in attendance. Congresswoman Trenee McGee referred to abortion as “mass genocide” and came to the rally to proclaim life. She said, “I stand for the pro-life black women across the globe who suffer in silence. Let’s offer womb-to-tomb solutions. We must not just protect life, but sustain life. We care about moms, families, education.”
Former pro football coach and Hall of Famer Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, spoke words of encouragement as they presented the message of adoption and fervent prayer. It’s wonderful that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, but loving, nurturing families willing to adopt unwanted babies are needed, and we need to be in constant prayer for their well-being.
Lauren Dungy found herself heartbroken over many women who have become pregnant, devastated, and in challenging situations. After talking with an adoption agency, she and Tony agreed to adopt, and today they have eleven children, including eight who are adopted. Theirs is an amazing story of prayer, love and life.
Dr. Christina Francis came to the march “to represent tens of thousands of pro-life professionals across the country.” Sadly, there are many pro-abortion organizations who threaten the jobs of others in the medical field who are pro-life if they don’t comply or participate in abortions. As Dr. Francis explained, an abortion always violently ends the life of a human being in the womb. She says, “it poses grave risks to pregnant women’s physical and mental health. Not only that, they’re attempting to silence doctors and midwives who want to share evidence-based information about abortion with their patients.” But Dr. Francis refuses to be silenced, and she is quick to speak on behalf of others in healthcare field. She explains there are severe consequences women face due to complications from an abortion, and she treats many of them in the emergency room every day. Many of these women are “devastated” that they never got to meet their baby. She said, “In this post-Roe America you can rest assure that pro-life physicians will not acquiesce to the demands of pro-abortion interests. We refuse to lie to our patients. We refuse to pretend that abortion is healthcare. And we refuse to stop advocating for every woman and preborn child to receive nothing less than top quality, fully informed, life-affirming healthcare that they deserve.”
Summer smith, a student at Liberty University, became a pro-life advocate after discovering she lost an older sister to an abortion when her 18-year-old mother found out she was pregnant. Her mother was afraid and alone, and had no support. Summer’s message is that women like her mother need support, and she doesn’t want anyone else going through what her mother did. She encouraged the crowd to stand courageously for life and said, “we can persuade hearts and minds about the truth inside the womb using every fact and data point available. Our faith must be well-reasoned and well-informed.”
There were many other speakers with inspiring messages, including Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in The Chosen, and Casey Gunning, a Special Olympian with Downs Syndrome. Be sure to check out the speeches yourself if time allows, but please consider how you can make a positive difference on this highly divisive issue. Is adoption an option for you and your family?
Photo Credit: Tom Pyne
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