he 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. was met with great enthusiasm after a banner year for pro-life laws protecting women’s rights, health and safety, equality, human rights, Constitutional liberties, and the sanctity of life. The first March for Life was held in January of 1974, a year after the legally flawed Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision. After seeking legislative recourse, the March for Life’s founder, Nellie Gray, held the March annually until her passing in 2012, when current president Jeanne Mancini took up the cause.

While the theme for 2019’s march, Unique from Day One, highlighted the science of human development and bolstered justification for protecting human rights from the moment when life begins at conception, this year’s theme was Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman, coinciding with the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Suffragettes, including Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony, recognized the pro-life position as inherent to feminism and called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.”

Feminism and the pro-life movement

The founding feminists not only achieved the right to vote, but also supported women’s motherhood, safe healthcare, equality, education, career, and the human rights of their children, all of which the pro-life movement continues to support to this day.

Another feminist heroine, Norma McCorvey, also known as “Jane Roe” of the pivotal Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, rightly asserted the entire abortion industry is based on lies. Also decided on the same day in 1973, the case of Doe v. Bolton used plaintiff Sandra Cano without her full consent, despite the fact she was vehemently against abortion and was only seeking a divorce from an abusive marriage. Both McCorvey and Cano never had abortions, were vulnerable, lied to, and exploited by attorneys seeking to legalize abortion. These women were unlawfully kept uninformed of legal proceedings, and both became pro-life activists who previously spoke at the March for Life, seeking to overturn the faulty laws bearing their names. McCorvey’s attorney admitted the women were merely used as “vehicles,” and later even insulted McCorvey, saying “She’s a stupid piece of white trash. She’s pro-life and a Christian. She was stupid when we found her and she’s worse now.” Abortion has never been for the benefit of women but to exploit and harm them for profit. The founding feminists were right, and the pro-life movement is right for continuing the fight against such misogyny and human rights abuse.

It is notable that a majority of the seven justices who legalized abortion in the Roe decision were Democratic men, just as the Democratic party historically opposed emancipation, suffrage, desegregation, civil rights, and still supports the human rights abuses of abortion to this day. Although claiming to be “progressive,” Democratic politicians actually repeal health & safety protections and continue to defend the undemocratic Roe v. Wade decision which blocks the States from evolving abortion laws now that healthcare, technology, and medical knowledge have greatly advanced since the 1970s. Further, the party that claims to champion diversity while supporting abortion, which largely kills minorities, females, and those with disabilities. The party even excludes from its platform pro-life Democrats, women, and minorities who oppose the party’s increasing extremism.

By contrast, the pro-life movement is bipartisan and welcomes courageous supporters from all walks of life. Louisiana Democratic Senator Katrina Jackson delivered a powerful speech at the March for Life, opposing the abortion industry’s bigoted genocide and fighting for human rights protections, declaring,

“If you were born after 1973, after Roe vs. Wade became law, someone chose you. Because someone chose us, we will never stop, it is just that important. I am greeted by pro-lifers, regardless if they’re black, white, Republican, Democrat, male or female because we know in unity we must fight for life. In unity we must fight like we have never fought before because this decade will mark the major fight for life. I see the chains dropping off of Roe vs. Wade. I see us celebrating life like never before. In unity we will fight for life.”

Jackson authored the pro-life law being reviewed by the Supreme Court this spring.

Additionally, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is the first Democrat governor to sign a bill protecting preborn babies once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The legal brief includes documented evidence of abortion clinics’ “poor safety records, inadequate credentialing practices, and efforts to undermine health and safety regulations designed to protect women.” The clinics have a long history of “medical malpractice,” “significant health and safety violations,” and “covering up sexual abuse of young girls.” There is a “legal duty to protect the public from dangerous behavior” but “the abortion business hides illegal activity behind the court system.” The case also seeks to include the testimonies of over 2,600 women who suffered severe harm to their physical and mental health caused by abortion. The pro-life cause is important enough to transcend partisan politics and has been referred to as “the least single issue vote…. because you are voting for justice, human rights, women, children, against violence, and so much more.”

Overwhelming majorities of Americans support strict restrictions, increasing health and safety standards, and oppose taxpayer funding, but Roe v. Wade hinders the will of constituents being reflected in current abortion laws. More than 200 pro-life legislators, many of whom attended the March for Life, signed an amicus brief imploring the Supreme Court to overturn the flawed Roe v. Wade decision, thereby rightly returning abortion law to the States and protecting women, equality, and human rights. Justice Thomas wrote, “When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent, we should not follow it.” Legal scholars agree Roe v. Wade was decided wrongly on the law. Ironically, Roe v. Wade sets itself up to be dismantled, admitting the basis for abortion collapses if personhood of the fetus is established, which Justice Blackmun defined as “where life can be shown to exist, legal personhood exists” and “the right to life would then be guaranteed, specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment” equal protection clause. In fact, when the 14th Amendment was ratified, nearly every state had statutes which criminalized abortion and defined the preborn as persons. The Amendment also extended citizenship to freed slaves after the Civil War. As legislators recognized then, pro-life supporters today also consider the personhood of mothers, babies, and minorities equal. By contrast, abortion dehumanizes and targets the vulnerable and marginalized.

As the misogynistic push to legalize abortion sought to exploit women for profit, statistics were falsified, and more women actually died from legalized abortion after Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood covers up rape, abuse, and injuries & deaths, while the number of females killed due to abortion since Roe v. Wade has reached 30 million in the U.S. alone. “Back alley” abortions have merely moved into unsafe clinics with shoddy oversight and no accountability, as pro-abortion policies continue to push for more dangerous access with fewer restrictions and health safeguards. By contrast, pro-life laws increase protections for women’s health, safety, and right to be fully informed, along with protecting equality and human rights for all lives.

Trump’s Involvement

Bolstering the remarkable progress of the pro-life movement was the historic speech by President Donald Trump at the 47th March for Life, who said, “It is my profound honor to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life.” President Trump delivered recorded messages at previous annual marches, while top aides, Vice President Mike Pence, Mike Pence’s wife Karen Pence also made appearances. This year, the Vice President and Second Lady delivered their remarks via video from the Vatican, while President Trump attended the march, delivering the historic speech to an enthusiastic crowd who shares the President’s commitment to defend life, human rights, equality, Constitutional liberties, and safe healthcare.

President Trump recounted,

“We’re here to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential. For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life, and today, as President of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you.”

The President encouraged the tens of thousands of young attendees, “Young people are the heart of the March for Life, and it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation,” adding,

“To all the women here today, your devotion and your leadership uplifts our entire nation and we thank you for that. And to all the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare mothers are heroes. Your strength, devotion, and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history.”

President Trump also recognized,

“The life movement is led by strong women, amazing faith leaders, and brave students who carry on the legacy of pioneers before us who fought to raise the conscience of our nation and uphold the rights of our citizens. You embrace mothers with care and compassion. You are powered by prayer and motivated by pure, unselfish love. And we are fighting for those who have no voice. Every person is worth protecting. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.”

The President thanked the pro-life community for their work helping mothers, children, and families.

“The tens of thousands of Americans gathered today— You stand for life each and every day. You provide housing, education, jobs and medical care to the women that you serve. You find loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You make it your life’s mission to spread God’s grace.”

Among the countless signs carried by pro-life marchers, displaying messages of compassion and equality, many held signs that stated, “Most Pro-Life President. Ever.” On the anniversary of the fateful Roe v. Wade decision, President Trump declared January 22, National Sanctity of Human Life Day, a day when the nation “proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.”

In his proclamation, while thousands were traveling to D.C. for the historic march, President Trump urged,

“Today I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born. I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care, so every child can have a loving home. We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions, and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption. Every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value. Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended. As a nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential. My administration is also building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right.  So far, 24 nations representing more than a billion people have joined this important cause. We oppose any projects that attempt to assert a global right to taxpayer‑funded abortion on demand, up to the moment of delivery. And we will never tire of defending innocent life — at home or abroad.”

During his first week in office, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits international aid organizations that receive taxpayer funds from promoting abortion, thus hindering global policies that promote bigoted eugenics or population control and abortions that discriminate against minorities and females, while maintaining aid used for ethical family planning.

Despite the abortion industry’s lies, President Trump actually increased Title X funding to $400 million, while closing the loophole Planned Parenthood used to funnel taxpayer millions to abortion and Democrats, as promoting abortion with taxpayer funds has never been allowed under Title X. Planned Parenthood again chose abortion over actual healthcare and had reduced its Title X services by 60%. Nearly 60% of patients who receive Title X services do not go to Planned Parenthood, as nearly 90% of Title X service providers are clinics other than Planned Parenthood. In fact, Federally Qualified Health Centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20 to 1. Thus, President Trump actually funds more safe, ethical clinics, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood and provide more healthcare services, giving women more choices.

Additionally, President Trump’s administration has increased child care policies, supports the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and adoption and foster care organizations, protects the conscience rights of healthcare workers and charities, and confirmed two Supreme Court Justices and nearly 200 federal judges “to uphold our founding documents and apply the Constitution as written.” President Trump also supports pro-life Senators’ efforts to make the Hyde Amendment permanent, which saves millions of lives and bans taxpayer funding of abortion in spending bills, consistent with the will of the majority of Americans.

President Trump also reauthorized a federal aviation bill which includes the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, requiring airports to provide clean, private rooms with comfortable accommodations for nursing mothers’ needs and requires baby changing stations in both men and women’s restrooms to aid parents.

Further, President Trump has promised to veto any legislation that “weakens protections for human life,” and he asked Congress to pass legislation, which he will sign, prohibiting abortions once babies feel pain, which recent studies confirmed could occur as early as 12 weeks gestation age (during the first trimester). The President also condemned discriminatory abortions, which kill minorities, females, and preborn babies diagnosed with disabilities, whose parents are sadly often pressured to abort, despite many fetal patients being treatable and the vast availability of compassionate, safe perinatal services that support parents and their children.

President Trump declared, “Every human life has value,” and his new pro-life video states,

“We know that life is the greatest miracle of all. Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.”

The President also explained he fights for the cause since far-left policies have become more extreme, including infanticide, and that Constitutional liberties and the principles for which millions of incredible pro-life people stand are “under siege.”

Pro-life policies and diversity

Hundreds of thousands attend the March for Life and share their own diverse reasons for supporting this important cause, varying from the science of human development to compelling personal stories. The March for Life produced a powerful video, Faces of Choice, debunking abortion’s deceptive rhetoric with the testimonies of abortion survivors. Abortion is actually anti-choice, as 64% of abortions involve coercion, 84% of women are not properly informed and feel they had no choice, and 79% of women receive no counseling about alternatives, while abortion advocates claiming to be for women’s rights actually oppose pro-life laws protecting a woman’s right to be fully informed.

Pro-life policies also protect women in the military, who are sadly often pressured to abort, perpetuating the sexist lie that women must sacrifice the lives of their children in order to succeed in their careers. Further, while abortion covers up rape and abortion laws repeal protections for women and children who are harmed and killed by violence, pro-life laws protect women and children from such violent harm. Pro-life policies extend dignity and protection to the vulnerable and all human lives.

Abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Half the world’s deaths in 2019 were caused by abortion, the leading cause of death worldwide, killing over 40 million annually. While the pro-life movement turns out in droves each year at the March for Life, ironically, leftist media largely ignores the thousands of voices giving voice to the voiceless. A fraction of the size, having quickly dwindled in just a few years, the more recent “Women’s” March ignores abortion is the leading killer of females, supports abortion policies that actually endanger women, and asserts women must kill their children in order to succeed, while attendees have even violently threatened pro-life women. Many refer to the March for Life as the real women’s march, which echoes the values of the original feminists, embracing all aspects of womanhood, including her motherhood and human rights of her children, fighting discrimination, including in the workplace against pregnant women and mothers, which is perpetuated by Planned Parenthood to this day.

Abortion is not a solution to inequality, but further entrenches inequality. Instead of succumbing to the delusion that “empowerment” must come at the price of another life, the pro-life movement marches for the dignity and true equality of all lives. Life is the empowering choice.

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Noelle has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Arts & a Doctorate of Law. She is pro-life based on moral principles & law.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.