Although Sunday marked the ninth annual March for Life in Chicago, this year saw a new and expanded event. And the large turnout proves that Chicagoans want to show the country that we are committed to overturning the disastrous rulings that took away all legal protections from babies in the womb.
WLS radio talk show host Dan Proft, himself an adoptee, emceed the program in Federal Plaza. Cardinal Francis George, Pastor Ceasar LeFlore of the National Black Pro-Life Union, and Father Marco Mercado, pastor of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, addressed the crowd, as people continued streaming into Federal Plaza.
Former Planned Parenthood counselor Linda Couri and Anna Slater of Students for Life of Illinois (SFLI) also spoke at the Plaza. Anna listed the local universities who had pro-life representatives at the March, with each school’s name eliciting a huge roar from the crowd.Additionally, Father Stamati Sfikas, representing Bishop Greek Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, led a prayer for life.
March organizers distributed 500 signs as people arrived in the Plaza, but ran out of available signs almost immediately. Fortunately, many marchers had brought signs of their own. Several universities, high schools, and other groups marched with their identifying banners.
To the beat of drums and with the broad March for Life banner featuring Chicago’s famous skyline, Students for Life of Illinois led the March from Federal Plaza to Thompson Center Plaza in front of the State of Illinois Building to highlight the fact that Illinois is woefully lacking in abortion restrictions. Chicago Police facilitated the six block walk by opening the bike lanes on Dearborn Street for the marchers and closing off Randolph Street to car traffic to allow the participants to pour into the plaza.
At the Thompson Center, members of SFLI and the Crusaders continued their celebration of life, injecting even more energy into the event.
Sheila Liaugminas of Relevant Radio served as master of ceremonies, introducing a host of notable speakers, including Patrick McCaskey, son of Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey. Additionally, Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski and Republican Congressman Peter Roskam both pledged to do everything in their power to restore protection to the unborn.
Then a young woman who had found pregnancy assistance at Aid for Women and took advantage of their live-in program at Heather’s House gave her testimony to the vital ministry of pregnancy assistance centers. And our good friend Jill Stanek brought cheers from the crowd for pro-life politicians and jeers for those who advance abortion, including Illinois’ Governor Pat Quinn, Senator Dick Durbin, and President Obama.
At the conclusion of the program, it seemed no one wanted to leave. The music continued, the Crusaders kept dancing, and veteran pro-lifers reconnected with one another over free coffee and hot chocolate provided by Renovación Carismática Católica and Mojo Express.
Sponsors of the March for Life Chicago include the Archdiocese of Chicago, Pro-Life Action League, Illinois Right to Life, CatholicVote.org, Couples for Christ Foundation Family and Life, Students for Life of Illinois, Relevant Radio, the Catholic Conference of Illinois, Lake County Right to Life, and Couples for Christ.
See more pictures from the March for Life Chicago here.
- Abortion foes gather to mark Roe v. Wade in downtown rally
- Abortion opponents rally in Loop 41 years after Roe vs. Wade ruling—Chicago Sun-Times
- Pro-life supporters march through Loop—ABC 7 Chicago