Last week, pro-lifers from across the country descended on Washington D.C. for the 43rd annual March for Life, and the Pro-Life Action League was there to help encourage pro-lifers to become more active in the fight against abortion in their own communities.
We touched down in our nation’s capital on Wednesday, January 20 in the evening so we could be ready for our first event: a protest Thursday morning at the new Planned Parenthood mega-center currently under construction in D.C. under the banner of the #ProtestPP movement that had organized nationwide protest of Planned Parenthood centers in the summer and fall of 2015.
Two hundred pro-lifers came out over the course of the protest. Prayers and speeches were offered by the League’s Joe and Eric Scheidler, along with a host of other pro-life leaders including Rev. Pat Mahoney, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Dr. Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Brian Gibson of Pro-Life Action Ministries, Bryan Kemper of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach and many more.
The highlight of the protest was a talk from David Daleiden, the man behind the infamous undercover videos that surfaced last summer showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts.
Eric was honored to present David with a small gift at the protest, a “Racketeers for Life” pin printed when Eric’s father Joe was being sued by the National Organization for Women under the RICO statue—a law created to prosecute the mafia—which is once again being abused to prosecute David (see video above).
Joe Scheidler speaks at the #ProtestPP event on January 20 [Photo courtesy of American Life League]
After the protest, Eric, Ann and Joe Scheidler and I were pleased to attend a Mass and reception put on by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, presiding.
Then it was over to the March for Life Youth Rally where Eric spoke on a panel on “Pro-life Activism Street, Online and Undercover” in front of a huge, energetic group of pro-life students from around the country.
Eric Scheidler speaks at the March for Life Youth Rally [Photo by Matt Yonke]
Later in the evening, Joe and Eric were both pleased to pray at the One Voice DC prayer vigil in preparation for the March the next day.
Impending blizzard forces change of travel plans
On Friday evening, we began to receive alerts that flights were being cancelled due to the impending blizzard. Having other obligations to attend to back home in Chicago in the coming days, we were forced to reexamine our travel plans.
The next day, we decided that Eric and I would try to make it home by car to attend to the home front while Joe and Ann Scheidler and the rest of the League’s contingent would stay in D.C. for the march, even if it meant being snowed in.
And that’s exactly what happened! The record-breaking blizzard shut down Washington D.C, airports and all. Only today are the rest of our colleagues able to make the trip back to Chicago after being in D.C. for five nights.
Fortunately Ann and Joe and the rest of our crew had a great march on Friday and even received an incredible greeting from our friends the Crusaders for Life group from Chicago:
Numerous stories and I’m sure innumerable memories were created by the storm, including youth groups who were waylaid on their journey to D.C. celebrating Mass in the snow on the side of the road.
In the end, the 43rd annual March for Life was a great success with tens of thousands of marchers in spite of the snow. The world saw yet again that abortion is not a settled issue in the country, and we’ll be coming back for as many years as it takes to make abortion unthinkable in our land.