Catching Up: Marching for Life in D.C. as Roe Turns 45

If you’ve had your fill of March for Life coverage, my apologies for this post (and please tell me where you’re getting your news).

The first March for Life in Washington was 44 years ago, one year after the Roe v. Wade abortion decision was imposed by the Supreme Court.  There’s been a march every year since then. I’ve been to six or seven of them.

t-shirt from March for Life 2018
I traveled to the March with a group from my parish, part of a six-bus caravan.

Never have I been part of a larger march than I was last January 19. The weather was surely a factor: full sun, mid-forties. Yet that doesn’t account for most of the marchers, who chartered their buses months ago.

I didn’t count noses. It’s tough to count from the midst of a sea of humanity. I’ve since seen back-and-forth posts from attendees at the March for Life and the following day’s “women’s march,” with squabbles over crowd size that sound like some chief executive tweeting about who’s got a bigger button.

I can assure you of a few things: the March for Life is not a diminishing phenomenon. It continues to attract marchers of all ages. It’s also a rallying point for new pro-life coalitions and groups (like the former abortion workers of And Then There Were None) that couldn’t have been imagined back when Nellie Gray organized the first March for Life in 1974.

March for Life 2018
The view from mid-crowd at March for Life 2018, passing by National Archives in Washington.

I missed the President’s pre-March rally video-link greeting, choosing instead to meet with a group from New Wave Feminists who were hosting a rally of their own before joining the March. If you think all pro-lifers are alike, NWF will burst your bubble. And it’ll be fun.

During the March, I lost track of my marching companions not once but twice. It was tough to stay in touch with them even via text, as the sheer number of people making social media posts from the March affected local cell service. No problem: this was a good day to make new friends and to bump into old ones.

Next year’s March for Life in D.C. will be on Friday, January 18, 2019.

 

Round-Up: Pro-Life at Yale, Etc.

Here’s what turns up in a month-end sweep of my inbox and bookmarked social-media items:

Yes, Yale Has Pro-Lifers

Registration is open now for Vita et Veritas, Yale’s fifth annual pro-life conference, coming up October 6 & 7. The first conference was founded in 2013 by a team of students in Choose Life at Yale (CLAY). I envy this year’s attendees the opportunity to hear from the conference’s lineup of speakers. Thumbs up to all who are working for a culture of life in unlikely places.

Tickets Available for NHRTL Banquet

New Hampshire Right to Life’s annual banquet is scheduled for October 12 in Manchester. Featured speaker: Janet Morana of Priests for Life and Silent No More Awareness. More information here.

Responding to Disaster

The catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey has brought forth one amazing story after another about people helping each other and making donations for short-term and long-term relief. New Wave Feminists leader Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa lives in Dallas. She heard about a Texas church that was taking in flood refugees and was in need of diapers and feminine hygiene products. Destiny then made a one-minute video appeal on Facebook, saying that donations to NWF over the following 24 hours would go toward meeting that particular need.

Result: wow. Check out the post from the last couple of days at the NWF Facebook page.

Not to take anything away from the big guys like the Red Cross, but sometimes small is beautiful. Neighbors- helping-neighbors is a good thing.

Mandate Update…Still Waiting

In case you missed it on the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page, here’s a link to a recent Washington Examiner editorial calling for the abolition of the so-called HHS/contraceptive mandate. That’s an Obamacare feature that not only attacks religious liberty but also writes into public policy the idea that women are broken and need to be fixed.

(More on the mandate here.)

So when will the elected officials who decried the mandate when it was handed down in 2012 finally get rid of it?

40 Days for Life Approaching

I never get tired of promoting this program of peaceful witness. Fall 2017 campaigns will begin next month in Manchester and Greenland, and now is the time to plan to schedule your vigil hours. The official web pages for each campaign will give you information about the overall 40 Days for Life effort, contact information for the local coordinator, and a link to signing up for vigil hours (including a link to the Statement of Peace required of all participants).

Manchester information

Greenland information

Need a speaker about 40DFL for your local group, radio show, or podcast? Contact the campaign coordinators at the links above.

Pro-life women have been disinvited from the “Women’s March”

Telling pro-life women to shut up and go away is a waste of time. Some people who don’t get that are about to be enlightened.

The “Women’s March” on Washington has rejected participation by New Wave Feminists, who are pro-life. First, the organizers ignored NWF, then just a couple of days ago agreed to list them as a participating group in the Women’s March, then yanked the invitation today after press coverage ensued and Twitter hit the fan.

You have probably heard of this planned “Women’s March,” which will take place next Saturday, January 21 in Washington. I refuse to drop the quotation marks, or link to any official site for it, since now I know for sure what I’ve suspected all along: the organizers are under the thumb of leading abortion advocates who don’t think pro-life women count as women. The “Women’s March” is supposedly a way to declare resistance to President-elect Trump (hey, I’ve been on that train for awhile, girls; catch up).

Now we know that while Trump might be the excuse for the march, he’s not the reason.

There will be a local march in Concord the same day, by the way. Pro-lifers will be present with or without an invitation. More about that at the end of this post.

NWF sought admission to the “Women’s March” as – wait for it – pro-life women. There was no concealment of the group’s reason for being, which is to be pro-life. The “Women’s March” is supposed to be about unity and action, after all, according to its promo material. The short-lived decision to welcome NWF prompted some press coverage, particularly by The Atlantic. Rage ensued, and NWF was disinvited, presumably relegating pro-life women back to their ghetto.

“Women’s March,” you are messing with people who have long memories and vibrant associations with very active social media accounts.

Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of NWF made a 28-second announcement on Facebook. Language alert (and I don’t blame her).

Destiny and NWF will be there anyway, “whether we are official partners or not.” Good.

The Life Matters Journal team feels the same way. That’s Aimee Murphy on the left in this Facebook video. “We will still be there with a great group of young feminists that stand for the rights of all human beings regardless of their circumstances….The reason that we are pro-life really hinges on an understanding of the equal dignity of human beings.”

Remember all this when you see what is bound to be massive coverage of the “Women’s March” on the 21st. Pro-life women were excluded by the organizers and are going to show up anyway.

I’m going to seek these women out at the March for Life in Washington on the 27th so I can thank them and encourage them in person.  They will be there.

Closer to home, the “Women’s March”-ette in Concord on the 21st has inspired a pro-life contingent that has been granted a permit to demonstrate on the sidewalk in front of the State House while the “Women’s March”-ette takes place on State House plaza. I have it on good authority that there was resistance on the part of the City of Concord to issuing the permit to the pro-lifers, but one was finally issued (I believe the word “attorney” entered the conversation at one point, but that’s secondhand information).

The permit, by the way, requires that the pro-lifers not impede pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.  Abortion advocates demonstrated in Concord this weekend how that’s done.

On Martin Luther King Day, of all days, pro-life women have been told they’re unwelcome at a “Women’s March.” Let that sink in.

Fortunately, pro-life women don’t need anyone’s permission to do their thing.

Weekend links: fetal pain, New Wave Feminists, a pro-life conversion

A few links for your weekend reading pleasure:

photo by Ellen Kolb
photo by Ellen Kolb

An interview with New Wave Feminists (blog.secularprolife.org)

“If [New Wave Feminists] NWF got a $1,000,000 grant, what would you want to do with it?”
“…If NWF got a $1,000 grant, my answer would probably be the same thing – college outreach. The sidewalks are the last line of defense when it comes to changing hearts and minds, but the colleges are just one step behind that….We have to be on campuses proclaiming LOUDLY that women’s rights are human rights, and human rights should start the moment a person first exists.” Read the full post here.

AMA dismisses evidence of fetal pain (dailysignal.com)

“The American Medical Association is sticking by its influential report asserting that unborn babies cannot feel pain at 20 weeks, despite subsequent studies finding otherwise. Three of the report’s five authors had or later would have ties to the abortion industry.” [emphasis added] Read the full post here, including links to the medical papers cited on fetal pain.

An Ivy League student describes her journey to becoming pro-life (browndailyherald.com)

“Slavery and genocide, for example, are both driven by the idea that a select group of human beings are unworthy of the dignity intrinsic to personhood and could therefore be subjugated by a stronger class of humans. When people in positions of power and privilege use this language to deny someone their basic human rights, they do it to justify acts that would otherwise be unconscionable to enact on other people. Labeling these humans as nonpersons or fractions of a person is the first step in allowing them to suffer inhumane violence and at times extinction at the hands of their oppressors.” Read the full post here.