In my capacity as president of the annual March for Life, I was incredibly blessed and honored to co-host Focus on the Family’s “Alive from New York” event on May 4, 2019. My professional life has been guided by the desire to build a culture of life, and that day in particular was an all-time career highlight.
As I walked through Times Square in advance of the event, I admit to doubting the wisdom of the decision to host an outdoor rally in such a place – particularly given the chaos, the sensuality and the “spirit” of the crowds. Yet the very next afternoon, in one of the busiest and noisiest intersections in the world, we all heard the strong heartbeat of Abby Johnson’s preborn baby, Fulton … and you could hear a pin drop.
The sound of that tender pitter patter prompted a deeply moving experience in that otherwise chaotic place. After all, a baby’s heartbeat is among the most miraculous and yet most human of sounds. That moment was truly the keynote of the event – a keynote I will never forget.
In a similar way, each year’s March for Life presents a new theme – a keynote for the year, if you will – in contrast to the chaos and confusion that permeates our culture.
Abortion is not pro-woman
Each year presents different urgent and important challenges in one of the greatest battles of our time: the fight to end abortion. And 2020 is no exception.
The present moment is marked by profound confusion about what it means to be pro-woman. The abortion industry, the mainstream media and many leading political figures not only advocate, but also celebrate, abortion! Abortion – ending the life of an innocent human being – is somehow promoted as essential to women’s freedom, empowerment and progress.
In the midst of this great challenge surrounding the messaging about women and abortion, the March for Life team has chosen a unique theme, one designed to challenge the culture and to offer clarity and hope: “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
Hundreds of thousands will gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24 for the annual March for Life. Both at the march and throughout the year ahead, we will celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which created a women’s right to vote. On this, the 100th anniversary of that amendment, we remember and honor the true suffragists, those original courageous female leaders who recognized both the inherent dignity of women and the unborn. These great women knew that these two individuals, mother and baby, were not at odds with each other!
Indeed, Alice Paul, a suffragette leader and author of the original Equal Rights Amendment, referred to abortion as “the ultimate in the exploitation of women.”
A healing remedy
Our prayer is that this year’s theme, “Life Empowers: Pro-life is Pro-Woman,” will be a healing remedy for the wounding and deceptive messages about women coming from the pro-abortion industry and beyond.
Among many other luminaries speaking at the 2020 March for Life, we are delighted to welcome to the stage Focus on the Family President Jim Daly. Focus is building on the momentum of “Alive From New York” with ALIVE 2020, a new multistate pro-life celebration on May 9, 2020.
We hope that our March for Life theme – our keynote for 2020 – will be as powerful as the resounding
preborn heartbeat that transfixed Times Square in 2019.