Among those who attended the 40th March for Life in Washington, DC on January 25, one of the most commonly heard reactions was that it felt like the biggest one yet—and it probably was. Crowd estimates of the March for Life have numbered between 300,000 and 400,000 over the past few years, but this year estimates topped 500,000!
Among them were a dozen Pro-Life Action League staff and volunteers, marching under the massive Stand Up for Religious Freedom banner that was displayed during the League’s June and October religious freedom rallies in Chicago, held in opposition to the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate. Several of the “Rally Captains” from the other rallies the League organized across the country joined the League group. Also marching with the League was executive director Eric Scheidler’s son Nate, who had designed the PVC frame used to carry the big banner, along with fellow pro-life students from the University of Illinois.
Despite some snow and colder weather than usual, the enthusiasm of the pro-life crowd at the March was higher than ever.
League Represented at March Events
In addition to the March itself, the Pro-Life Action League was well represented at numerous other March-related events. On the day before the March, Eric Scheidler served as the emcee for the standing-room only March for Life Youth Rally at the Hyatt Hotel, featuring such speakers as Lila Rose, Abby Johnson, Bryan Kemper, and Fr. Frank Pavone.
In his own remarks, Eric encouraged the teens and young adults to do two things when they return home from the March: (1) find the abortion clinic closest to where they live; and (2) find local pro-lifers who are already active in prayer and sidewalk counseling outside this abortion clinic, and work with them. Each of the 800 attendees were also given a copy of the League’s Sharing the Pro-Life Message handbook, which Eric encouraged them to keep on hand at all times.
While Eric was emceeing the Youth Rally, League co-founders Joe and Ann Scheidler were attending a Mass celebrated by Boston’s Sean Cardinal O’Malley at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.
On the morning of the March, Joe spoke to a packed youth rally at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which was followed by a Mass offered by Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George. At the same time, I represented the League at a Tridentine Mass offered at St. Mary Mother of God Church in honor of March for Life foundress Nellie Gray, who died last year.
After marching, praying, and sharing fellowship together with other pro-lifers, we returned home energized and eager to redouble our efforts in the fight against abortion.