“We Are the Pro-Life Generation.” That statement floated on signs above thousands of heads Friday at the 40th annual March for Life rally.
“We’re trying to raise awareness to the fact that this isn’t just another Roe v. Wade anniversary,” said Jonathan Rogers, a National Right to Life field coordinator. “But specifically, this year being the 40th anniversary is a real time to pause and to think about how much this actually means and how big of a deal it is,” referring to the estimated 55 million babies aborted since 1973, the year of the Roe case.
In fact, multiple speakers addressed the crowd as the “pro-life generation,” referring to the 2012 Gallup poll indicating that 50 percent of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life.”
What struck me was the eclectic nature of the march, which gathered members from the 3,000 National Right to Life chapters around the country. While overwhelmingly Christian (mostly Catholic), I did find groups advertising themselves as “Secular Pro Life” and the “New Wave Feminists.” The movement itself is expanding; abortion is now considered a “human rights violation” by some, despite the World Health Organization’s attempt to promote abortion globally.
“Abortion is a human rights issue, and we should all be able to come together on it,” said the spokesperson for Secular Pro Life. “It shouldn’t be just for Catholics or for evangelicals. We should be welcoming atheists, agnostics, Wiccans; everyone should be able to come together and say that abortion is wrong.”
The New Wave Feminists’ poster advocated being “pro-woman,” and “pro-education.”
That these and similar groups march alongside Franciscan friars, nuns, and university students, might help explain the record-breaking numbers at this year’s event — over 500,000 people, according to some sources.
As Planned Parenthood abandons the term “pro-choice,” perhaps it is time that the GOP takes lessons from the pro-life movement, which promotes natural rights over narrow individual liberties. It seems an appealing message.