By Susan Klemond, National Catholic Register
A U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as recent state laws, are giving pro-lifers hope for ending federally legalized abortion that likely will motivate more of them to participate in marches and rallies marking the 49th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision this month, several organizers said.
Some pro-life advocates probably will opt out of marches again this year over concerns about COVID-19, which resulted in cancellation of many 2021 events.
Also, marchers in some locations may be required to have COVID-19 vaccine passports to enter indoor restaurants or events, including those attending the national March for Life in Washington, D.C.
But despite coronavirus challenges, the Supreme Court’s hearing of oral argument on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week state abortion ban last month and Texas’ enactment of a law banning abortions after detection of a child’s heartbeat earlier in 2021 are energizing others.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Woman’s Health case before the Supreme Court could affect march turnout “as more people than ever are motivated to speak out against abortion and offer support to moms in need,” said T.J. Burgess, Louisiana Right to Life’s special projects director.
Various rallies and marches are taking place around the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe. v. Wade decision.
National and Regional Events
The March for Life will be held Jan. 21 in Washington, with the theme “Equality Begins in the Womb.” In a new year’s blog post, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini stated that the organization is “overjoyed at the possibilities 2022 holds for the protection of the most vulnerable, the child in the womb.”
Students for Life’s National Pro-Life Summit, also in Washington, will take place the following day.
The 18th-annual Walk for Life West Coast will differ from previous events mainly because of the Supreme Court’s decision to review a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, said Eva Muntean, co-chairwoman of the Walk in San Francisco. “We’re certainly excited, but I don’t know how much people know about it.”
The court case could bring out more protesters this year, but it also is energizing pro-lifers. Lila Rose, founder of the pro-life organization Live Action, will speak at the rally.
The Walk for Life was one of just a few 2021 pro-life rallies and marches that weren’t canceled because of COVID-19, she said.
“If anything  showed us that people will show up because we made no advertisement and didn’t know what was going to happen, and we still had [the walk] and about 3,000 to 5,000 people showed up. We were shocked,” Muntean said. She anticipates as many as 20,000 may walk this year — half of pre-COVID attendance — because some people still fear going out. In the past, groups from many Western states and from as far away as Florida and Canada have participated.
Louisiana Right to Life chose the theme “Together for Life” for the five marches it organizes in the Pelican State because its leaders concluded that unity is most needed now for the state and especially for the pro-life movement, Burgess said.
Attendance at the marches representing the state’s major regions ranges from 500 to more than 7,000. None of the marches were held in 2021 because of COVID-19, but thousands participated in “Stand for Life” chains in 27 cities instead, said Burgess, who anticipated robust attendance for this year’s marches.
The outcome of the Dobbs case before the Supreme Court affects an identical pro-life law passed in Louisiana in 2018, he said.
Louisiana Right to Life hopes the state will see an end to legal abortion if Roe v. Wade is reversed this year.
“We find comfort in knowing that Louisiana is ready to be abortion-free and in imagining a day when, rather than hosting life marches across the state, we can celebrate a Louisiana that values all innocent human life, from the womb to the tomb,” Burgess said.
By participating in one of the events scheduled in many parts of the country, pro-life Catholics can show their support for life and make others aware of abortion-related issues that are likely to be in the headlines as the Supreme Court issues its expected decision in the Dobbs case in June.
The goal is “to raise awareness, for sure, of what’s happening in the Supreme Court because it amazes me how many people have not heard about it,” said Muntean, speaking about the Walk for Life West Coast.
“We just want to raise awareness,” she said. “We want people to get involved.”
March for Life’s Mancini told the Register, “We expect this year’s March for Life to be historic with even higher levels of enthusiasm from participants. We are all hopeful that, with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court, this year will bring us much closer to building the culture of life we have all marched for since Roe v. Wade was imposed on our nation nearly 50 years ago.”
Pro-Life Events Across the Country
*Subject to change; events listed comprise all of January and extend into February.
National March for Life, Jan. 21, Washington, D.C. Theme: “Equality Begins in the Womb”; rally, noon-1pm, National Mall; march, 1-4pm, concludes at U.S. Supreme Court building steps. Watch live on EWTN.
Note: The District of Columbia’s “VaxDC” requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination for entry into all indoor facilities takes effect on Jan. 15.
Students for Life’s National Pro-Life Summit, Jan. 22, Washington, D.C. Theme: All in for Life!”
For details and registration: ProLifeSummit.com/about/
Walk for Life West Coast, Jan. 22. Rally: 12:30-1:30pm, Civic Center Plaza; walk: 1:30pm, ending at Embarcadero Street. Watch on EWTN.
Birmingham March for Life, Jan. 15, 9am Mass, Cathedral of St. Paul. Prayer Vigil and Witness for Life, 10:45am, at the Planned Parenthood, downtown Birmingham.
March for Life, Mobile, Jan. 21; rally, 9:45am Cathedral Square; march: 10:45am.
Arizona for Life March & Rally, Jan. 15, Phoenix; speaker: 11:15-11:30am; march: 11:30am to 12:30pm; rally: 12:30-2pm, Arizona State Capitol.
March for Life, Arkansas Right to Life, Little Rock, Jan. 16, 2pm program on the State Capitol steps; march follows.
OneLife LA, Los Angeles, Jan. 22; kickoff: 11am; walk: 12:30pm, Olvera St. to L.A. Historic Park; Mass: 5pm. Watch on EWTN.
Celebrate Life Rally and March, Denver, Jan. 15; Mass: 11:30am, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; rally: 1pm; march: 2pm, Colorado State Capitol.
Polk County March for Life, Jan. 22, Lakeland City Hall; program and march: 9:30-11:30am.
March for Life St. Augustine, Jan. 15, Our Lady of La Leche National Shrine at Mission Nombre de Dios.
March for Life Jacksonville, Jan. 21, 1-2pm, U.S. federal courthouse.
March for Life & Memorial Service, Jan. 21, Atlanta, 11:45am-2pm; begin at Liberty Plaza.
March for Life Chicago, Jan. 8, rally: 1pm; march following; Mass for Life: 4pm, Hilton Chicago.
March for Life, Jan. 24; Mass: 10:30am, St. John the Evangelist; march: noon; rally: 12:45pm; south steps of Indiana Statehouse.
Cedar Rapids March for Life, Jan. 22, Cedar Rapids; march, 9:30am, Cedar Rapids Planned Parenthood, followed by rally.
Saturday, Jan. 22, 6-8pm, Life March Southwest, Lake Charles
Saturday, Jan. 22, 10am to noon, Life March South, Baton Rouge
Saturday, Jan. 22, 10am to noon, Life March Northwest, Shreveport-Bossier
Sunday, Jan. 23, 2-4pm, Life March Northeast, West Monroe-Monroe
Saturday, Feb. 5, 10am to noon, Life March Cenla, Pineville-Alexandria
March for Life, Feb. 3, 4:30-6:30pm, Miller Senate Building, Annapolis.
Michigan’s Roe v. Wade Memorial & March, Jan. 19, Lansing, 1pm, Michigan State Capitol.
March for Life, Midland, Jan. 23, 2pm, Midland County Courthouse.
March for Life, Jan. 22, St. Paul; march: noon; program: 12:30pm, State Capitol.
Midwest March for Life, April 20, Jefferson City; march: 10am; rally: 11am, Capitol south lawn.
March for Life Charlotte, Jan. 14 (date tentative).
Rally and March for Life, Jan. 15, 1pm, Bicentennial Plaza, in front of the General Assembly, Raleigh, N.C.
NC Right to Life Inc. (ncrtl.org)
North Dakota March for Life, Jan. 21; Mass: 10:30am, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, followed by march to capitol grounds; program: 12:30pm, North Dakota State Capitol, Bismarck.
Mini-March for Life, Cincinnati, Jan. 16, 2pm, Planned Parenthood, Auburn Ave.
Oklahoma March for Life, Oklahoma City, Jan. 22; march: 10:30am from the State Capitol.
Erie March for Life, Jan. 29, 11am, followed by closing program.
Stand Up for Life March and Rally, Jan. 8, Columbia; march: 11:30am; rally, noon State House Plaza.
North Texas March for Life, Jan. 15, Dallas, noon, from Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Texas Rally for Life, Austin, Jan. 22, 1-4pm, State Capitol.
March for Life Utah,Jan. 22; program: 11am; march: 11:40am, Utah State Capitol.
March for Life Utah Car Parade, Jan. 22, St. George; program: 11am; car parade departs: noon.
Compiled by Susan Klemond. All times are local.
SUSAN KLEMOND: © 2021 EWTN News, Inc. Reprinted with permission from the National Catholic Register – www.ncregister.com.