On January 15th, it came to the attention of millions of pro-lifers across the country that the March for Life was no longer taking place on the streets of our nation’s capital. The organizers announced that due to Covid-19 related concerns, as well as heightened pressures on law enforcement in the capital, this year’s March For Life rally was relegated to take place on computer screens, inside our homes. Jeanne Mancini, president of the organization, stated that “the annual rally will take place virtually and we are asking all participants to stay home and to join the March virtually.” Subsequently, the official March For Life Twitter account received performative praise for supposedly staying consistent with a pro-life ethic.
“Stay home, save lives” is the slogan we’ve heard repeated to us for the past year, after all—but it’s worth evaluating whether this was the truly selfless decision to make. On January 29th, the streets of D.C. were empty as a new administration of staunch pro-choice Democrats settled into office on Capitol Hill. The irony of calling off a rally against genocide of the unborn to spare a select few adults from contracting a virus with an average survival rate of well over 99% and a continuously declining mortality rate is, to be sure, lost on no fervent pro-life American.
The March for Life’s decision received considerable pushback from pro-lifers who had planned to attend the rally in person. Their detractors perceived the sudden shift to a virtual rally as an act of cowardice and a show of submission to a group of conniving establishment conservatives who are more or less ambivalent to the pro-life cause. The March for Life is regarded as the largest annual show of force demonstrating that Americans are willing to take to the streets to defend the lives of the unborn. Can the organizers of this event really be considered the champions of the pro-life cause when they so readily withdrew the largest gathering of pro-life Christians that takes place in our nation? In light of their decision to go virtual, I’m dubious of the claim on their website that their mission is “uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square.”
The Biden administration is set to immediately reverse all pro-life policies enacted under Trump’s presidency. On Inauguration Day, Nancy Flanders of LiveAction reported that “the window to government-funded abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy has been blown wide open.” It seems that public protest has never been more direly necessary on behalf of the unborn, but for the first time since its founding the March for Life has been cancelled in both a literal and figurative sense.
The purpose of this piece isn’t to downplay the seriousness with which we respond to the pandemic, or the tragedy of any lives lost due to Covid-19. I simply implore pro-lifers to turn a critical eye to the response of March for Life organizers and keep those millions of lives at the greatest risk in the forefront of their minds—unborn babies. Pray for an end to abortion, and in particular for the lawmakers and activists who have the power to advocate for legal protection of unborn lives.