Marching for Life

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life
January 04, 1999

In 1973, seven out of nine justices declared that the children in the womb are not persons under the Constitution. They thereby excluded a whole segment of the human family from the protection of the law, and from the recognition that all are created equal.

On every single day of the 26 years that have since passed, the older brothers and sisters of these children throughout America have called on the nation to restore love and protection to them. And each year tens of thousands of pro-lifers have come to Washington, DC on the day of that tragic decision.

This January 22, we will come again.

The March for Life is a great annual family reunion for the pro-life movement. Tens of thousands from across America arrive by bus and plane, and gather for a midday rally on the Ellipse, between the White House and the Washington Monument. They are encouraged by speeches from pro-life leaders, legislators, and clergy. Miss Nellie Gray, who has led the March from the beginning, effectively calls the participants to focus on the goal of the pro-life movement: full protection of each and every human person from fertilization!

After the rally, the march itself takes the crowd on a route from the Ellipse to the Supreme Court, where prayers and hymns continue, and friends greet each other. Many also go to lobby their elected officials at this time. The whole event is well organized and peaceful..

Although most participants come only for the march itself, there is actually entire convention on the previous day. Participants are educated in the life principles and taught practical strategies for defending life. This convention is open to all. The entire event concludes with a beautiful banquet, the Rose Dinner, which honors the many people who work in the pro-life movement.

What does the March actually accomplish?

1. 1. It gives voice to the children. Yes, abortion continues unabated. But it does not continue unchallenged. The presence of marchers in Washington is a prophetic call to the government and to the nation. When a tragedy goes on and on, the voice of those who defend the victims must only increase, not fall silent.

2. It gives encouragement to our friends in government. Those in Congress who support the right to life need to hear from us. They need to see that we are out there in great numbers, so that they can continue to call for an end to abortion.

3. It encourages us. Participants come away from the march invigorated and inspired for another year of work. They see those laboring with them across the country, and know they are part of a great movement.

4. It trains young leaders. I received my own inspiration to be active in this movement when I attended the March for Life as a high school student. Countless other young people receive similar inspiration from this event each year.

United in a cause that we can never let go of, and filled with new hope, let us join each other in Washington, DC again this year!

For information on the March for Life program, plus hotel and travel arrangements, contact March for Life, PO Box 90300, Washington, DC 20090, or call 202-543-3377; Email: and website:

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: