The 41st annual March for Life in Washington DC on January 22 will draw hundreds of thousands of marchers from across the country. Largely ignored by the media every year, last year’s march included an estimated record number of participants – over 500,000. While these marchers represent all 50 states, all ages and walks of life, we are united in our purpose and commitment.
We march because it is our First Amendment right as citizens to freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievance. We march in Washington because it is from there that the Supreme Court handed down concurrent decisions on January 22, 1974, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, that struck down all existing state laws regarding abortion and unleashed 41 years of abortion-on-demand for the full nine months of pregnancy in all fifty states.
We march because we believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence which acknowledge “self-evident” truths of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” As good citizens, we seek to restore these rights acknowledged by our founding fathers which have been denied to millions of unborn children.
We march to protect women. According to reports by The Elliott Institute, almost one-third of women having abortions report suffering physical health complications; 10% suffer immediate, potentially life-threatening complications. Post-abortive women have a 65% higher risk of clinical depression vs. childbirth; 65% suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and have a 3.5 times higher death rate from various causes after abortion than after giving birth. The suicide rate among post-abortive women is six times higher than those who give birth. Abortion nearly triples a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increases a woman’s risk of future miscarriages by 60%.
We march because we’re saving lives. National Right to Life reports that there is a long-term trend for fewer abortions. The number is down significantly from 1990 when the country saw an all-time high of 1.6 million abortions per year. The U.S. Center for Disease Control reported that abortion numbers for 2009 reflected a 4.6% reduction and another 3.1% reduction in 2010. If the number of abortions had remained at 1.6 million, seven million more babies would have died. In Missouri, the number of abortions has been reduced by almost half in the last ten years.
The efforts of the pro-life community to educate people on the truth and consequences of abortion, to provide alternatives to women in crisis pregnancies, to elect candidates who support the right to life of unborn children, and to support legislation that seeks to protect women from being victimized by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry is saving lives, millions of them.
We march because we know that each and every human life has dignity and worth and must be respected and protected from the moment of conception. We know that the abortion culture has degraded that respect for all human life that is displayed daily throughout the American culture.
There are 56 million reasons why we march – the number of abortions since Roe and Doe as estimated by National Right Life based on reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood. 56 million – a number that represents the total combined population of over 18 states. A number 40 times all American war deaths since the Civil War.
The marchers are overwhelmingly young people who recognize that these 56 million lives lost would have been their friends, neighbors, co-workers. They know that they themselves are survivors of a culture that increasingly seeks to solve its problems with violent means. They march because they recognize the injustice of these 56 million abortions. They march because they know that if those 56 million lives had no value, then their own lives are in jeopardy.
The March for Life is the longest, largest, most consecutive public assembly in the history of the United States. On this January 22, the 41st anniversary of the tragic Roe and Doe decisions, we march once again as we will every year until the promise of our founding of fathers is restored to all Americans – born and unborn. We march for many reasons – 56 million of them.
President, Missouri Right to Life