25 Years of Roe V. Wade

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
June 23, 1997

It may seem a little early to be preparing for the Annual January 22 March for Life in Washington DC. But given the fact that most parish and school calendars are now being planned, and that some people may need to raise some money to go, it is not as early as we may think.

This year, there is yet another reason to plan ahead. The Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions, which our Supreme Court handed down on January 22, 1973, stripped away society's protection for each preborn human being through all nine months of pregnancy. That means that January 22, 1998 marks the 25th year of abortion on demand in our country!

Awareness of this anniversary should permeate all our pro-life activities this year. In a particular way, it should spur us on to make this coming March for Life the largest one ever!

The Court spoke, and the People Speak

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 25 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.

This January 22, we should come again in greater numbers than ever before.

You can be sure that the defenders of abortion will be rejoicing on the 25th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. You can help assure that on that day, the voices defending the children will be louder than the voices defending abortion!

The March for Life

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. It is filled with thanksgiving to God that prolifers have been able to March for Life for so many years despite many obstacles. A multitude of dedicated young people join in this celebration of Life as a gift endowed by our Creator.

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.

But What Good Does the March Do?

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.

See You in DC!

Let's go ahead and make January 22, 1998 the largest March Washington has ever seen! Let's announce and plan it starting today. And let's look forward to seeing each other in Washington!

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.

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