It was a cold January day in 1974. One year had passed since the nationwide legalization of abortion through Roe v. Wade. Thousands of hopeful pro-lifers marched around the capital to emphasize the nation’s yearning to reverse the weighty Supreme Court decision.
But it didn’t come.
So, for nearly 50 years, the March for Life has faithfully dedicated itself to an annual rally in Washington D.C. with an unwavering intent: to promote the dignity of every human life by working to end abortion through uniting and mobilizing pro-lifers in the public square. The 2022 March for Life is no different.
What better time to send a message of hope could there be than now? A pro-choice administration directs our government. A majority of the country favors abortion. Depression is more than three times as likely than before the pandemic in the U.S. The nation doesn’t just want hope – it needs hope. Generations of Americans have carried the faith and courage to step up and demand change, to become a voice for the voiceless. The March for Life has provided the catalyst we needed to shine a light on a community passionate about life. The question is: will you take them up on it?
The Uniqueness of the 2022 March for Life
Societal friction is one of the many reasons we need to speak into this issue on a large scale. The topic of abortion is the forefront of discussion as the Supreme Court is currently considering the overturning of two key abortion cases through Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Why We March: Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, arguably one of the most substantial Court decisions in history, challenged a Texas law illegalizing abortion with the exception of the mother’s endangerment. The legal team and appellant (under the pseudonym “Jane Roe”) posed the question, “does the constitution recognize a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?” Roe’s answer to the question was that there is constitutional protection to abortion within the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In contrast, the appellee (Wade) argued that “right” goes against the governmental interests regarding the protection of the potentiality of human life. A landmark 7-2 decision was ultimately made in favor of virtually unrestricted abortion access.
Since that decision, we march to protest against what Roe grants and plead our case for life-saving legislation in its place. With each step, we move closer to a better future and understanding, including the science of viability we now know. The exemption the Court highlights in Roe for babies past the point of viability is now invalid, considering it is a subjective measurement that has since changed.
The Further Loss of Rights in Casey v. Planned Parenthood
After that in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, SCOTUS was presented the question, “can a state require women who want an abortion to obtain parental consent, have a 24 hour waiting period and/or be obligated to notify their husband without violating their right to abortion as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade?” The Court – deeply divided – reaffirmed Roe in a 5-4 decision whilst relying on an “undue burden” standard. It arises if the purpose of the restrictions are to place a substantial obstacle in the way of a woman seeking an abortion. Again, a victory for the pro-choice side.
A Ray of Hope: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health
In December of 2021, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson after Mississippi passed the “Gestational Age Act,” banning most abortions after 15 weeks. The only abortion facility in the state, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, filed an emergency motion to pause the injunction as they claimed it took away the rights granted pre-viability in Roe.
Consequently, this then challenged whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. As a result, it evolved into the biggest abortion case in decades. And it’s happening now.
January is Sanctity of Human Life Month!
A Fitting Theme: Equality Begins in the Womb
As the Court is seemingly poised to make a decision for life, it provides a glimmer of hope to overturn Roe. The historical decision that aborted 63 million lives has always been a hard-to-swallow reminder of what could have been prevented. But history could be changing. Though overturning Roe and Casey would be an unimaginable feat, we need to ensure we’re truly prepared for that day to come.
That includes providing hopeful alternatives through high-quality medical care, bringing life-affirming conversations into the church and being pro-life past the decision to carry.
In fact, being pro-life for the whole life is something this year’s March for Life theme encapsulates well. However, it’s also a thought we as Christians can be distracted from. But exhibiting the love God has granted us to everyone – not just those solely in the womb – is one of the best ways to truly show the core of what we believe: love and value for all in Christ.
March with Us at the 2022 March for Life!
Join Focus on the Family, the March for Life and hundreds of thousands more in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2022! It all begins at 11 a.m. with a concert by Matthew West. Following that will be a rally with celebrity speakers and politicians, all leading up to the march toward the steps of the Supreme Court. If you’re planning a longer trip or live in the area, consider attending the expo. It’s a free event with major pro-life organizations (including Focus on the Family, so come say hi!) and incredible speakers. Additionally, here are some more pro-life events happening in the area!
Can't Make it to the 2022 March for Life?
If you can’t physically attend the 2022 March for Life, don’t worry! There are other ways to get involved during and beyond the event.
- Watch the livestreamed rally on the March for Life’s social media channel (find more information here)
- Text MARCH to 73075 to get monthly action alerts and ideas for staying involved in the pro-life movement
- Pray over the women, men and children impacted by abortion (God tells us in the book of Matthew to be specific in our prayer. Here are a few suggestions to get you started!)
- Attend your local March for Life
- Follow and share posts from the March for Life, I Am Pro Life and other pro-life organizations on social media all year round
- Support your local, pro-life pregnancy clinic (find your nearest one here)
- Learn how to speak up to defend life
However you participate, be encouraged by why we are marching this year. Because equality begins in the womb. It’s a statement that should be universally agreed-upon. And yet, some still consider the right to life as a privilege rather than guaranteed liberty. That theme, if publicly backed by thousands, will present a strong message that age-based discrimination is unacceptable and a violation of basic and necessary human rights. But it needs people like you and me to be courageous, to step up.
We can easily be overcome by fear without even realizing it, remaining in our comfort zone to avoid causing conflict or breaking from the norm. But to be neutral in situations of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressor (Desmond Tutu) – meaning to not speak out is to deny the very belief we stand on. As this year’s March rightfully centers around equality, those at-risk for abortion desperately need people to illuminate the way to justice. They need us.