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‘Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman’: What to Expect From 2020 March for Life

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21.01.2020

“Life Empowers: Pro-life Is Pro-Woman” is the theme of this year’s March for Life, set to take place Friday in the nation’s capital. Since 1974, the March for Life has gathered to remember the lives lost since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, and to remind America that each life has value.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, joins The Daily Signal Podcast to discuss what to expect at this year’s march and where the pro-life movement as a whole is headed in 2020. Listen to the podcast or read the lightly edited transcript below.

Virginia Allen: I am joined by the president of March for Life, Jeanne Mancini. Jeanne, thank you so much for being with me today.

Jeanne Mancini: Thanks so much for having me, Virginia.

Allen: Now, March for Life began in January of 1974, one year after the passage of Roe v. Wade. March for Life really started out just as a small, peaceful demonstration, but it quickly grew into the world’s largest pro-life event. The 2020 march is taking place on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C. Can you share with us what the theme is that you all chose for this year’s march?

Mancini: I’d love to and if it’s OK, I’ll just give a little bit of backdrop that every year we do a lot of thinking and discerning about the appropriate theme because with the March for Life being the only place where all of the different pro-life groups come together annually, it’s an awesome springboard to message, essentially, about what we think are the most cutting edge, most pressing issues in building a culture of life.

Themes in past years have included adoption and nubile decision. Another year, in fact, last year, we had pro-life as pro-science and really delved into the science behind embryology and some of the wonderful neonatal surgeries available, etc.

This year our theme is “Life Empowers: Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman.” And, of course, this is the year where we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which created a woman’s right to vote.

So it’s a great opportunity to go back and look at the suffragist, the early feminist, the early female leaders who recognize the inherent dignity of women and the inherent dignity of the unborn. We’re not at odds with each other and they had a really good understanding about that.

We’re having a lot of fun with this theme and we’re excited to be able to talk about that more next week.

Allen: Absolutely. Now, who is speaking at this year’s march?

Mancini: We’ve got a great, great, great lineup and stay tuned because there are more announcements to be made even tomorrow.

Legislatively, we will welcome to the stage Representative Chris Smith, as well as state Representative, state Senator, as of yesterday, Katrina Jackson.

Chris Smith is very well-known. He’s from New Jersey and just a stalwart on our issues.

Katrina Jackson as well is very interesting because she’s one of the few pro-life Democrats and, in particular, we’re so interested to have her this year because she was the author of the bill in Louisiana related to abortion clinic regulations that then became a law. And now will go before the Supreme Court in March. And so it’ll be very interesting to hear from Senator Jackson.

So those are some of our legislative speakers and there’s a few more to be there.

We have Claire Culwell and Melissa Ohden. They both have these incredibly inspiring stories. They both survived abortion, essentially. And their lives are such witnesses and so they’re going to share their stories. And, of course, we’ll link that very much to the born-alive discharge petition in the House.

Right now we’ve got Jim Daly from Focus on the Family, Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of Susan B. Anthony List—a good year for Marjorie to speak with the theme. Another wonderful woman, she’s a pro-life leader in New Mexico, Lisa Martinez.

We also have a local pastor, David Platt from McLean Bible Church, a very well-known church here in the D.C. area. He will be doing our closing prayer.

And, like I said, we’ve got a few more announcements. And I should say our favorite speaker, at least when we do our surveys after the March for Life, is almost always the young person that speaks because, of course, by and large the participants in the March for Life are young people.

Our one specific designated young person who’s speaking this year is Catalina Scheider Galiñanes. And she is from Oakcrest, a school in Vienna, Virginia. She’s going to speak about why she’s pro-life.

Allen: Wow. So many amazing speakers. I really look forward myself to hearing many of them at the event on the 24th.

People come to March for Life in Washington, D.C., from states all across America. What is that message or motivation that you are really hoping that marchers will take with them back to their home states and their communities?

Mancini: The March for Life is very interesting in that it’s a place to come and witness and testify to the beautiful inherent dignity of the unborn person. And yet, ironically, for those of us who participate in the march every year, it’s an opportunity for our own hearts and minds to be changed even more about this issue.

I’ll just give you a quick example of that … I know I’m kind of backing my way into the answer here, but I had a family member come and participate from out West last year and it was the first time he had come and he’s always been pro-life, but it was quite a sacrifice to come.

He and his wife and one of his children came and had a really beautiful time. I think … his eyes were opened to the significance of the issue and perhaps his heart was changed even more in the direction of life.

And while he had a very busy schedule last year with having kind of a … I guess........

© The Daily Signal