The March for Life: The Ideal of Protests

On January 21, hundreds of thousands of pro-life demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, which takes place each year to advocate for an end to abortion in America. Men and women of all ages came to the nation’s capital to tell our lawmakers that unborn babies are human beings who deserve the same rights as the rest of us, especially the right to life. Through their civility and altruism, these protesters illustrated once again that theirs is the greatest political march in America today.

Year after year, the pro-lifers who march in D.C. reaffirm the message of love that their movement has to offer.

Year after year, the pro-lifers who march in D.C. reaffirm the message of love that their movement has to offer. The most striking contrast came in 2017, when the pro-abortion Women’s March convened for the first time to protest the inauguration of former President Donald Trump. In expelling pro-life feminist groups, wearing hats referencing their genitalia, and elevating speakers such as Madonna who said she had “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” the attendees illustrated for all of America that they were not there to help women. Rather, they gathered to endorse attitudes of sexual promiscuity that are harmful to them. A week later, the pro-lifers arrived. The most notable speaker, then-Vice President Mike Pence, told the crowd, which I was a part of, that one reason life was winning in America was “the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations who minister to women in the cities and towns across this country.” The acts of service he described are not uncommon. The march is only one of many contributions the pro-life movement makes to expectant mothers. It serves largely to highlight the ultrasounds, groceries, and baby supplies that dedicated pro-lifers give out free of charge to those who need them, all in addition to the movement’s efforts to legally protect the unborn.

When Pence spoke to the marchers, he did not need to promote fundraising efforts to bail them out of jail, unlike the current occupant of his office.

This year, the marchers, like generations of protesters before them, again demonstrated that their message of love was the pro-woman one. They did so not only through their words but through their actions as well. 2022 is very different from 2017. Since then, we have seen the summer of 2020, full of Black Lives Matter protests, many of which devolved into riots. Their damage cost over $1 billion, insurance companies estimated, making them the costliest civil disorders in modern American history. The March for Life has never required police coercion to break it up. When Pence spoke to the marchers, he did not need to promote fundraising efforts to bail them out of jail, unlike the current occupant of his office. Pro-lifers act so civilly despite the gravity of our cause. We believe that every abortion that occurs at any stage of the pregnancy is an act of murder. In our eyes, the United States is engaged in a campaign of legalized mass killing. Would this not be a justification for tearing the country down? To that, we answer, “No.” We know that the response to violence is not more violence and that our system has the ability to blot out the stain that now exists on our nation.

The March for Life is particularly special because every attendee is protesting exclusively for the benefit of other people: the preborn and the preconceived.

Still, the pro-life movement’s greatest asset is not its civility, but its altruism. The March for Life is very distinct from Black Lives Matter protests, climate change demonstrations, and the anti-gun March for Our Lives. The attendees of all of these rallies have something to gain from their causes and are marching in their own self-interest. This is not to say that their causes are illegitimate just because they benefit from their success. After all, the participants of the 1963 March on Washington were much better off with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It is to say, however, that the March for Life is particularly special because every attendee is protesting exclusively for the benefit of other people: the preborn and the preconceived. As President Ronald Reagan said, “I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” Pro-lifers advocate for the passage of a law that takes away one of our rights, the right to take an innocent human life. The policy we want is one that requires us and all other Americans to make an act of selflessness. The most selfless thing parents can do is protect the vulnerable people with whom they are charged, whether that means bringing them into the world or sticking around to care for them. The March for Life calls upon people to live out their duty to their fellow human beings through its message of love. We pro-lifers will use that message to march every year, until there is no presence of or need for abortion in our country.

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About Charles Hilu

Editor-in-Chief Charles Hilu is a senior studying political science. In addition to his writing, Charles serves as the Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Michigan. He has interned at the Washington Examiner and, most recently, National Review.