Each year since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, pro-life individuals gather in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, an annual peaceful pro-life demonstration. Tens of thousands are expected to descend upon Washington, D.C., on January 20, 2022, for the 49th annual March for Life and coordinating events.
Participants walk the near two miles from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Supreme Court in cold January temperatures to honor the over 58 million unborn lives lost to abortion in the United States and promote human dignity for all.
Maybe you’re considering joining this year’s march, and you want to learn more about the event’s background, or perhaps you think the pro-life movement is a big spectacle and you need to know more. Either way, here are six things you need to know about the March for Life.
The official March For Life is the most prominent pro-life event globally.
In October 1973, a small group of 30 pro-life citizens gathered at the home of Nellie Gray to ensure the anniversary of Roe v. Wade wouldn’t go unnoticed. The plan was set in motion on January 22, 1974, when thousands of pro-life advocates united in D.C. for the very March for Life. Since then, hundreds of thousands have participated in the March for Life, and it’s considered the largest pro-life event in the world.
The March For Life 2022 theme is “Equality Begins in the Womb."
Each year, the March for Life embraces a new slogan. For example, 2021’s theme was “Together Strong: Life Unites.” March For Life Education and Defense Fund President Jeanne Mancini said 2021’s theme was a springboard to communicate and educate about the most pressing needs of our time. For 2022’s theme, Mancini said the pro-life movement recognizes this nation’s immense responsibility to restore equal rights to its most defenseless citizens in the womb.
March For Life attendees are notably young and diverse.
The average march participant is a high school or college student. Rented passenger vans drop off pro-life college clubs, church youth groups, and entire high school classes in droves. Whether at the March for Life rally or expo, young people swarm everywhere. Not only are they young, but they are ethnically diverse. The march extends a special invitation to Spanish-speaking participants to attend related events like the Bilingual Pro-Vida Mass or Latino por la Vida (Latinos For Life) concert.
March For Life’s staff is comprised mainly of women.
Pro-life equates to pro-woman. Whether it’s caring for the well-being of a pregnant mother or opposing sex-selection abortion, the pro-life movement advances the human dignity of women and girls. While pro-choice activists paint pro-life advocates as old, white men seeking control of women’s bodies, it’s mostly women who work behind the scenes at the March for Life.
There’s a growing Protestant presence at the March for Life.
Historically, the Protestant absence has been noticeable.
It’s been Catholics who’ve organized, financially contributed, and shown up to support the March for Life year after year. The Archdiocese of Washington hosts a youth rally and Mass for Life on the morning of the march. Local Catholic churches offer their facilities to groups in need of free lodging, but that trend is slowly changing thanks to several Protestant denominations affiliated events.
There are five other pro-life demonstrations planned across the country.
The March for Life Education and Defense Fund’s website lists five related pro-life events happening across the country in conjunction with the March for Life. So if you’re unable to make it to D.C., find a pro-life demonstration near you.
This year’s March For Life includes speakers from Kirk Cameron to registered nurses.
The 2022 March for Life will have speakers from all walks of life, from celebrities, congress members and advocates. His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Orthodox Church in the U.S., and Cissie Graham Lynch of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, will deliver the opening and closing prayers.
Matthew West, the GMA Dove Award-winning and GRAMMY Award®-nominated artist/songwriter, will perform at this year’s Pre-Rally Concert from 11 a.m.-noon. Students from Christendom College in Front Royal, VA, and Immanuel Lutheran High School in Alexandria, VA, will carry the banner and flags at the front of this year’s march.
Here’s a list of this year’s speakers:• Kirk Cameron, Actor & Producer
• Julia Letlow, United States House of Representatives (LA-05)
• Toni McFadden, a pro-life advocate and founder of Relationship Matters
• Lisa Robertson, Duck Dynasty
• Mike Schmitz, host of “Bible in a Year” podcast
• Katie Shaw, Down Syndrome Advocate
• Chris Smith, United States House of Representatives (NJ-04)
• George Schuberg, student speaker – Christendom College
• Kristen Waggoner, General Counsel – Alliance Defending Freedom
• Rachel Young, Registered Nurse
This year’s March For Life will take place in person.
Typically, the annual March for Life rally brings thousands of people to the National Mall in D.C. In 2021, as with so many other significant events in the age of the coronavirus, it was virtual. Organizers urged attendees to stay home last year and watch the event online. Event organizers cited the coronavirus pandemic and heightened pressures that law enforcement officers and others faced in and around the Capitol, an apparent reference to the storming of the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
The March for Life has been an event around for almost 50 years. It’s a time where citizens come together to let their voices be heard. People from all walks of life descend upon Washington, D.C., to honor the millions of lives lost to abortion year after year. Some people may not agree with the message they’re sending, but everyone has the right to express their opinion. If you disagree with their statement, it would be best to avoid the area on that day. This march is the time for the pro-life advocates to speak their minds. Clashing with the pro-life advocates would only make things worse and take away from the message they’re trying to send. If you choose to attend the rally and participate in other activities, do so with an open mind and heart. You may learn something new and understand a different perspective.