The March for Life: Once We Get Moving

“Look at all these marchers, and they’re so young! We’re winning!”

“Look at the abortions still occurring, now paid for by hidden surcharges in insurance that most of us are going to have to pay for! We’re not winning, we’re losing!”

“Look at the polls, most people are pro-life now! We’re winning!”

“Analyze the polls. Most people are still ok with abortion in some cases, and they still think that “birth control” actually reduces the number of abortions. We’re losing!”

You can get whiplash trying to keep up with competing claims about the state of the abortion battle. I think there is at least some truth to most of them, but it’s easy to forget that these are snapshots in an enormous, era-defining war to defend innocent life and choose what kind of society in which we want to live. Walking up Capitol Hill on Wednesday, it came to me that the March itself was a great metaphor for this struggle, and a way to help us keep things in perspective.

March for Life-2014-web

It was 14 degrees and windy. Being from Arizona, I still enjoy the cold for its novelty. But not Wednesday. That was crazy. I was wearing (entirely inadequate) gloves with those little magic hand warmer beanbag things clutched in my fist as the glove fingers flopped emptily in the wind. Being one of a few men who had the honor of carrying the pilgrim icon of the Black Madonna along the route, I must have been a sight. One of the consequences of that kind of cold is that you stop caring about what you look like.

But it was sunny, which, along with the company and the energy of fellow marchers, made the trek quite bearable. Again, being from Arizona, I didn’t know that “14 degrees and sunny” was possible, but there you go. It wasn’t bad once we got moving.

Once we got moving. That was the point. I would estimate that despite all of the flight and bus cancellations due to the extreme cold, there were still 250,000 people marching up Constitution Avenue on Wednesday. That was crazy too. Good crazy. What a wonderful circus to behold. The chants; (“Obama! Obama! Your momma was pro-life!” “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!”); the drums; the dancing; the rosaries being prayed over bullhorns; the families; the singing…

The pro-abortion forces could not possibly pull off an event like this on a day like this. When they even try, they reveal the empty and vicious soul of their movement. They command the heights of power: the White House, most of the courts, almost all the universities, the media and Hollywood. But they can’t talk about the biological fact of human life beginning in the womb, or the millions of women who painfully regret the “choice” we’re all told is sacrosanct (many of whom were marching on Wednesday). They turn their news cameras away from half a million marching, from the Gosnell trial, from the dozens of abortion mills closed just last year and from dozens of stories of the corruption and malpractice of abortionists who lose their licenses. They can’t handle the truth.

Instead, they prop up their latest hero: a candidate for governor in Texas who makes death look cute by pushing infanticide while wearing pink tennis shoes. And because her lone accomplishment is a stand for the legalized killing of full-term babies in a state that isn’t all that fond of the idea, we are offered a Hollywood version of her life story that seems to fall apart more and more every day.

And they force through a disastrous “Affordable” “Care” Act — the only part of which that apparently isn’t changeable at the president’s whim is the forced payment for life-destroying or –preventing drugs by religious employers that they, understandably, find immoral. As the façade of Obamacare falls apart more and more every day, the media scramble to make it sound like part of the plan — and worth the price of providing insurance for the uninsured — even though millions are losing insurance because of the law. Yet people are waking up to the true ends of this supposed “health care” law, and more are now aware that most hormonal contraceptives can not only end human life at its earliest stages, but that these drugs are inextricably linked to abortion. Human Life International has been telling that to people for decades, and we can thank the current administration for finally making this point inarguable.

Perseverance. It can feel very cold to pro-lifers who see themselves and their ideas ridiculed in the public square. But we have the Son: the Way, the Truth, the Life. When we pray for deliverance from challenges, what we more often receive is more challenges, but also everything we need to persevere.

Once we get moving, we find that we’re not at all alone in this fight. Look at history; this is how it is. As we reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday, we turned the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa toward the Court. People crowded around to touch her. Some were of Polish descent, and they knew that when Communism suffered that huge, gentle defeat led by a humble Polish pope with no army (ok, with no military), the pope credited Our Lord with the victory, and the intercession of the Mother of Jesus, who, in Poland, is represented in the icon at Jasna Gora.

God can and will win this battle, though those who turn to Him. The other side has the earthly power, but the façade is falling down. We have the truth on our side. For now we persevere and hope, while praying as if it all depends on Him, and working as if it all depends on us.


  1. Sr.Athens on January 25, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Courage! Even if you may find that you’re standing alone. Remember, “When you are tired, each of your step is counted in heaven!” -Venerable Thecla Merlo, Co-Foundress of the Daughters of St. Paul

  2. Lori on January 29, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Great article Stephen. God will bless your endless efforts. Keep fighting for His Will to be done and not ours. Strength and courage. Union of prayers.

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