Mostly they were young women. And they came by the thousands despite the cold and wind and snow. At first it seemed like a trickle, but within an hour the trickle turned into a torrent. The Federal Triangle and Smithsonian Metro stations near the National Mall began to brim with Right-to-Life marchers who were there to listen to the speakers before marching. After the speeches, which included several Congressmen including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, they marched past the Capitol and headed toward the Supreme Court.
The March-for-Life was unlike—very unlike—the standard issue demonstration that is typical of the ones that routinely take place in the District. It made no attempt to undermine the foundations of the American system as so many routinely do.
In stark contrast to their left-wing counterparts, e.g,—Justice for Palestine, Black Lives Matter—both the Right-to-Life march and the underlying movement demonstrated support for the maintenance of American institutions and the rule of law. It should be noted that the overturning of Roe v. Wade by Dobbs v. Jackson was the result of 50 years of patient legal work spearheaded by the movement and the Federalist Society. This in spite of furious, sometimes violent, opposition by the left: let’s not forget, for instance, the hearings of Bret Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.
The fact, and it is a fact, that so many Republican politicians are incapable of voicing a robust defense of Dobbs (which was correctly decided) is a comment on Republicans, not the underlying legal case.
Instead of violence, looting and burning—remember those “mostly peaceful” protests during the pandemic? (See the map below). Or the use of violence to attempt intimidate Senators Sinema and Manchin that President Biden described as “part of the process”? Or how about the widespread violence of the 1960s? By contrast the speeches at the March were preceded by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the display of American flags.
The theme of this year’s March (the 51st) was “With every woman, for every child”. In that regard the speakers called attention to the thousands of pregnancy centers the pro-life movement supports. In contrast, note that Congress just recently passed, and Biden threatens to veto, two bills to fund those centers. Speakers also emphasized the importance of changing opinion on the morality of abortion rights, which also stands in sharp contrast with the coercive attempts at a stifling conformity of opinion that is so popular among left-wing proponents of right-think.
The movement also wants to put the lie to rest that abortion rights, even abortion on demand is the preferred choice of women, especially young women. Grant the self-selection of the crowd, it is hard to ignore just how many young women turned out for the March, not to mention surveys on the subject. A recent (May 2023) Gallup poll found that 47% of respondents thought that abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, compared to 49% that thought that abortion should be illegal either in all or most circumstances. Hardly what you’d call uniformity of opinion.
All in all, the March-for-Life was a robust demonstration of the strengths of the American experiment in self-rule; the importance of the right-to-life and above all the dignity of each and every individual human being. That each and every human being was created—created in the language of the Declaration of Independence—with equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now would be a good time to remember that.