White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address the March for Life in Washington, D.C., via satellite feed — very good news for the pro-life community.
“This will take place from the Rose Garden,” said Sanders of the Friday event. “The president is committed to protecting the life of the unborn, and he is excited to be part of this historic event.”
The annual event in the nation’s capital — held on January 19 this year — has taken place since 1974 in protest against the Roe v. Wade decision dismissing many restrictions on abortion across the U.S .
“Every race, gender, age and disability, from conception until natural death, is always worthy of dignity and love” — that was the core of the message from the 2018 March for Life Chicago, as conveyed via video highlights from the estimated 6,000-plus participants who marched last weekend.
A number of distinguished speakers attended the Chicago event (now in its 13th year), including Chicago Bears’ co-owner, Pat McCaskey; March for Life Chicago board of directors president Dawn Fitzpatrick; and Relevant Radio talk-show host Sheila Liaugminas. Also on hand: Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Cardinal Blase Cupich, and Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., a professor of evangelism at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.
“One of the great tragedies of our nation and a lot of the world is that we devalue the unborn,” Stetzer told LifeZette in an interview Wednesday. “I think we need to have a higher value of life. I was happy to speak up and speak to that,” he added, referencing his participation.
He also noted that the abortion-related laws in China and North Korea closely parallel those of the United States — and that people are often shocked by that realization.
Stetzer is also executive director of the Billy Graham Center, located on Wheaton’s campus. A pastor and prolific author, he’s a contributing editor for Christianity Today and also writes for The Washington Post’s Acts of Faith section.
Stetzer encourages Christians and others to “speak up for the most vulnerable and voiceless” rather than avoiding the topic. Of the national event taking place this Friday, Stetzer told LifeZette, “It’s a great time and moment to speak up. It’s not the time to rush away. It’s the time to continue to speak up and speak out on this issue.”
“All people are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect. We’re all called to speak up for the hurting and the marginalized.”
He added, “All people are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect. We’re all called to speak up for the hurting and the marginalized. That includes those who are in the womb.”
“The ultrasound has been a game-changer,” he also said. “Let people see. This is not some anonymous mass. This is actually a child forming in the womb. We actually use that language. We don’t say someone ‘is carrying a fetus.’ We say they’re ‘carrying a baby’ … Right now, we’ve just got to remind people that it matters that all of us speak up in this moment for the unborn and really advocate for women and their unborn children.”
This year’s universal theme for pro-life marches is “Love Saves Lives.” Media coverage for the massive event is typically underreported by most mainstream media outlets — so LifeZette may be one of the few news outlets that share this information.
Ramona Trevino, author of “Redeemed by Grace,” is a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager who became a pro-life advocate; she, too, spoke in Chicago. As she said in her keynote address there, “The deadliest thing in the world is indifference.” If participation in Chicago’s March for Life was any indicator, “indifference” on this issue has been summarily kicked to the curb. Pro-life activists are anything but — and they are more empowered than ever. The fact that they turned out in such numbers despite below-freezing weather speaks volumes.
Trevino noted, “I walked away from Planned Parenthood seven years ago, knowing that their days are numbered, and that Roe v. Wade’s days are numbered.”
Trevino’s sentiments were echoed by a number of other speakers, among them March for Life Chicago’s board of directors president, Dawn Fitzpatrick. “We call upon religious, civic and community leaders to renew every effort to build a nation and culture dedicated to protecting life at every stage and eliminating the violence of abortion,” she said.
Chicago’s peaceful march in support of ending abortion drew participants from far and wide. Of their motivation, Fitzpatrick said, “Some come singing, chanting and dancing. Some come quietly praying. They are from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common: They know that loves save lives, and that abortion is one of our culture’s gravest ills.”
Hard-line feminists and pro-abortion advocates decry limits on abortion as a restriction of their “rights.” The illusory “right” they fear losing involves taking the life of another. In their zeal to “protect” women, they advocate for the unfettered sacrifice of countless preborn girls and boys.
“Often we talk about being on the wrong side of history. People love to throw that phrase around,” said Stetzer. “A hundred years from now, people will look back and say, ‘I can’t believe that the laws in the United States at one point [allowed] abortion on demand until birth.’ It’s pretty stunning. And I think ultimately we need a better culture and value of life. I think it’s important that Christians speak up on these issues.”
Given the success of Chicago’s event, the national event Friday may see unprecedented numbers as well. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Pam Tebow (mother of NFL/MLB’s Tim Tebow), and many others are slated to speak. Plumb! will provide a musical opening at 11:20 a.m., followed by the march itself, up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and Capitol building, starting at 1 p.m.
For more details on the 45th annual March for Life 2018, visit MarchForLife.org.
Michele Blood is a freelance writer based in Flemington, New Jersey.