TRUMBULL—The annual March for Life will take place this year on January 24 in Washington, D.C. with tens of thousands of pro-life supporters gathering on the National Mall to defend the right to life for the unborn.
As the pro-life movement continues to grow throughout the United States, many faithful from the Diocese of Bridgeport plan to make the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to be part of one of the world’s largest peaceful protests.
“Anybody who goes comes away with a stronger understanding of what pro-life is all about,” said Dave Janny of St. Theresa Parish who coordinates a bus trip to the March from Trumbull. “There is such positivity for the cause and a renewed hope of ending abortion.”
That feeling of positivity emerges through a setting that is non-threatening and peaceful, one of love and not hate, added Janny. He felt that last year’s March for Life was one of the best due to strong conservative views and the presence of many lawmakers. “This is the most pro-life presidential administration we’ve had in a while,” he said.
Such thoughts were echoed by Eileen Travers of St. Joseph Parish in Shelton who with her husband Wayne has attended the March for Life for the past four years. “It is empowering to stand with people who share the same worldview,” she said. “We get encouraged and energized to fight harder for life when we participate.”
Travers remembers Vice President Mike Pence saying last year that “life is winning in America,” which affirms her desire to continue educating young people to be part of the pro-life generation.
With this year’s theme of “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman,” the March for Life Education and Defense Fund encourages supporters to remember “the bravery of our founding feminists. They birthed the 19th amendment and were our real life heroines. They called abortion ‘the ultimate exploitation of women’ and not only recognized the rights of our very smallest children, but they knew that abortion at its core also harms us as women.”
The need to join together in solidarity for the most defenseless among us – the unborn – is a common belief for those attending this event each year, such as John Angiolillo of St. Theresa Parish. He feels this event brings more awareness and education to those unaware and notes the importance of listening to women at the March who want to tell their story, such as one large group whom he acknowledges each year.
“These women were all born to a mother who was raped,” said Angiolillo. “These women are doctors, lawyers, school teachers, nurses, and many other professions, all professing thanks to God for their mother’s choice not to abort, but to give life.”
As people of all ages, ethnicities, and religions come together from across the United States and bond with one another in the chill of January holding signs which proclaim, “Unborn Lives Matter” and “Choose Life – Your Mother Did,” one cannot help but feel buoyed by the enthusiasm and hope vibrating throughout the capital.
“It is truly inspiring to be in Washington for the March,” said Travers. “The guest speakers really lift you up, and the entire rally is a continuous prayer for a change of heart.”
With high school and college-aged youth comprising about a third of all participants, Janny sees that involvement as a “very hopeful sign as we continue to fight.”
“There is an emboldened cry,” he said. “This is a commitment, a pilgrimage. And pro-life is winning.”
By Emily Clark