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March for Life: A First-Timer’s Account

By Dustin Hobbs posted on:
January 27, 2022

January 21, 2022, marked the 49th annual March for Life, an event that gathers hundreds of thousands of Americans in Washington, D.C., to peacefully stand together for the unborn and against the legalization of abortion.

The March was first held on January 22, 1974, marking the one-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and has since become the largest pro-life event in the nation. Each year, churches, pro-life ministries, student clubs, and grassroots organizations throughout the country send groups to march; yet for many not living on the East Coast, participating in-person may be out of reach or be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Having lived my entire life on the West Coast until moving to Virginia a few months ago, the March for Life was always a “bucket list” item, but something I had learned to be satisfied hearing about only secondhand from friends and family.

One phrase always stuck out when those who attended tried to describe the energy, emotion, and experience: “You have to be there.”

After attending my first March for Life, along with my daughter, I completely agree with that sentiment. There is simply no way to accurately describe the passion of standing amongst tens of thousands of pro-lifers—from moms with babies in strollers to groups of spirited college students to older couples who have made attending the March an annual tradition for years. All braving the 20-degree chill to take a stand on behalf of the unborn.

“There is a certainty of conviction and excitement for championing life that is refreshing and reinvigorating,” said Jor-El Godsey, President of Heartbeat International. “Those who march are young and old, a quiet witness and vocal chants. It is a joy to stand shoulder to shoulder with diverse crowd who are a half million like-minded, life-minded fellow champions for life.”

When observing the March through the lens of the mainstream media—5-second clips on cable news or slanted stories in newspapers—you miss out on so many wonderful aspects of the event: the joys of seeing marchers reunite with old friends, or watching groups that normally have very little interaction learn more about each other as they discuss what brought them to the March.

“One of the best parts of the March is seeing people come from all over to stand for life,” said Bryce Asberg, Executive Director of Helping Hands PRC, a Michigan-based pregnancy resource center. “I love seeing the dedication of so many. There is a reason the March for Life has continued uninterrupted since 1974, and that is inspiring to see.”

With the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in the backdrop, this year’s March for Life had a decidedly positive atmosphere. In describing the significance of the moment, ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner urged the crowd to “pray as you’ve never prayed before that the Supreme Court will have the moral courage to do what is right.”

Godsey said it was “palpable among the crowd” that the day could mark the last March for Life under Roe v. Wade. The battleground for the protection of the unborn may soon move from Washington, D.C., to 50 different state legislatures, an outcome Asberg described as “not the beginning of the end of the pro-life movement” but “the end of the beginning.”

Regardless of the outcome of Dobbs, the pro-life movement and the March for Life are not going anywhere. The fervor to defend the right to the most basic of all freedoms will continue to motivate Americans from all walks of life to come together each year.

I will be there too.

Learn more about how ADF is protecting life and how you can get involved.

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Dustin Hobbs, Senior Digital Copywriter & Editor

Dustin Hobbs

Dustin Hobbs serves as the Senior Digital Copywriter & Editor at Alliance Defending Freedom.


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