The March for Life Highlights Setbacks and Progress in the Pro-Life Movement

January 24, 2020 Updated: January 24, 2020


The annual March for Life takes place in Washington, D.C. Friday, 47 years following Roe v. Wade—the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

President Donald Trump has agreed to speak at the March this year, the first time a sitting president has physically attended the event.

The March often reflects on abortion setbacks while sparking a flame for progress in the future. It’s important to recognize how far the pro-life movement has come this year and where it still needs to go. Their theme this year, “Pro-life is Pro-woman,” is especially relevant.

Abortion occupies a different space in the cultural and political spectrum than ever before.

Initially, it was discussed only as a matter of law and ethics: Democrats adopted the mantra “Safe, legal, and rare,” and even people who labeled themselves pro-choice believed this.

In the last several years, and particularly this year, there’s been a push, propelled mostly by younger generations, not just to talk about abortion freely in conversation, outside of the context of law or politics, but to make abortion seem acceptable, normal, even cool.

To wit: “Abortion is normal, and for many of us, abortion is just one of the many things we have in common with our parents,” writes Teen Vogue.

An “Abortion is Normal” art exhibit is currently running in New York for the month of January, the proceeds of which will benefit Planned Parenthood. LifeSite News reports the display seems ignorant and noxious:

“The Abortion Is Normal website, a Bloomberg highlight video, and a Daily Beast report display and describe several examples of the event’s ‘art,’ much of which is sexual in nature. There are nude photographs and paintings, figures bearing ‘Thank God for Abortion’ shirts, paintings of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and various simple displays of rudimentary written slogans and buzzwords, like ‘Choice’ and ‘Dear Judge Kavanaugh, if you don’t like abortions don’t get one.’”

This trend of trying to normalize, sexualize, and popularize abortion is not only sad and, frankly, disgusting, but quite a bit off-base. For starters, the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization, reports abortion rates in the United States have declined steadily and are lower than they were in 1973.

While last year, a Marist/Knights of Columbus poll said more Americans favored abortion restrictions than previously thought, this year’s poll confirms this trend is continuing—it wasn’t just a fluke.

According to the poll, 47 percent of people who identify as pro-choice support significant restrictions on abortion, as do 70 percent of Americans in general.

Over half of Americans surveyed said that if the Supreme Court revisits Roe v. Wade it should rule to allow states to determine restrictions or make abortion illegal, and 60 percent oppose domestic taxpayer funding of abortion, including 37 percent who identify as pro-choice.

Both the culture and the law are shifting on abortion, no matter what an art exhibit in New York attempts to communicate. However, there’s still work to be done.

Planned Parenthood still receives reimbursements from Medicaid, New York made third-trimester abortions legal about this time last year, and while Roe may never be overturned, many pro-life advocates believe if Planned Parenthood v. Casey were even partially overturned, the lives of more innocent babies would be saved.

Since 1973, pro-life advocates have worked to raise awareness about the affects of Roe v. Wade, to demonstrate the importance of valuing life from conception to death, to ensure state laws restrict abortions as much as possible, and to develop many avenues of aid for pregnant women and women who decide to give birth.

By advocating that being pro-life is in fact pro-woman, the March for Life sets the tone to do these things and so much more.

Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.