The largest annual gathering of pro-life activists is right around the corner. On January 19, 2024, multiple organizations and ministries will gather their members and supporters in Washington DC for a cluster of events, the principal one among them being the annual March for Life.
Themes have recently been announced for two of these events, the March for Life itself, and the National Prayer Service which takes place that morning prior to the Rally.
March for Life recently announced its theme for the 2024 event, “With Every Woman, For Every Child.” This theme, of course, resonates in the heart and mind of every pro-life person. We know that as we fight abortion, we don’t see an “abortion” walking down the street. Nor do we see an unborn child walking down the street. We see a mother carrying a child in her womb.
Many times, she feels alone, abandoned, desperate and afraid because of her pregnancy. She is already a mother but is afraid to be a mother. Others have convinced her – or she has convinced herself – that she cannot bring this child to birth or raise this child or even make an adoption plan.
She may have even been convinced, through a destruction of commonsense, that it is really a child within her.
And all of this storm and tempest going on within and around her can lead her to the door of the abortion clinic.
It is not because of “freedom of choice” that she does this, but rather because she feels she has no freedom and no choice.
She is tempted to abortion because of the coercive power of despair.
And that’s where we – the pro-life movement – come in. Our mission is to replace despair with hope.
That’s why we advocate for her and for every child in every way we can think of, run pregnancy centers that outnumber abortion clinics by almost four to one, and show up at the killing centers with effective sidewalk counseling.
We are, as the theme says, truly with her. This reflects the essence of the Gospel of Christ. God says to his people, I am with you! (See Mt. 1:23; 28:20). That’s why St. John Paul II proclaimed that the only honest stance is one of “radical solidarity with the woman” (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p.206-7).
And the father of that baby needs to be with her too, as we need to be with the father. It is the abortion lobby that seeks to make abortion just “a woman’s issue.” No, it is a family issue, and the sooner we bring fathers and mothers back together and revive and defend the family, “the sanctuary of life,” the sooner abortion will end.
We also stand with every mother after abortion, bringing them the gifts of repentance and healing in Christ. We share with them the testimonies of those who are silent no more (see ), because these testimonies bring hope that there is new life for them. That is why, at the conclusion of the March for Life, members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign give their testimonies at the steps of the Supreme Court.
We stand, as the theme says, for every child. It is striking how the abortion lobby attempts to end the abortion debate by simply ignoring one side of the controversy. By pretending this is just an issue of “women’s rights,” they beg the question, and ignore the fact that what makes abortion a persistent debate is that there is a need to examine how the rights of two people intersect: mother and child.
It is simplistic, deceptive, and selfish to pretend that there are no rights of the child to consider. Hence we stand for every child.
We are living in a cancel culture. The advocates of abortion do not only want their voices heard; they want ours silenced. And they attempt that with the active cooperation of a biased media and a weaponized government in the hands of the Democrat Party.
At the prayer service, we will honor pro-life activist Mark Houck, whose home was raided one morning by FBI agents pointing guns at him and his family. He had done nothing wrong, but the Biden Administration literally wanted to make a federal case out of his peaceful pro-life activism.
We will also honor Bishop Joseph Strickland, whose outspoken pro-life and pro-family advocacy led to his removal from his position as Bishop of Tyler, TX.
We will likewise honor the pro-life activists who are currently in prison for their peaceful pro-life efforts to save babies at abortion mills. Sr. Dede Byrne, POSC, will speak on their behalf.
And we will honor Mark Lee Dickson for his successful efforts to let the voices of local citizens be heard as they create Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.
These two important themes, “With Every Woman, For Every Child” and “Our voices for the unborn will not be silenced!” overlap and intersect, and, when properly understood and faithfully lived, make us effective pro-life champions. Whether we are present in Washington, DC on January 19th or not, may these themes be a source of strength and encouragement to all in this great movement.
LifeNews Note: Prolife Leader Frank Pavone serves as National Director of Priests for Life, President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel’s Vineyard.
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