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As our organization prepares for the 51st March for Life and Roe’s second anniversary, what themes and messages does our culture most need to hear right now? I’ve been thinking about what it is. The false narrative around abortion, whether through mainstream media, the entertainment industry, or academia, is that it is empowering, healthy, and necessary. Such fear-based messages make mothers faced with an unexpected pregnancy believe that they are alone, incapable and unprepared for their role as mothers. We disagree with this and believe that choosing life is empowering and love saves lives.
Mother Teresa famously said, “Abortion is deeply anti-woman. All mothers and half of all babies are women.” I shudder at the number of tens of millions of lives tragically taken through abortion. At the same time, I am reminded of the heartbreaking testimonies of mothers I have met. The mothers regret their choices and are now left with no choice but to deal with the pain and grief.
But for the pro-life movement, this gloom is not the final word. In fact, we know that when a woman is faced with an unexpected pregnancy, what she needs most is, “You can do it!” And she said, “I’ll help you!”
For decades, the pro-life movement has supported more than 3,400 community-based maternity facilities and pregnancy resource centers across the country that help women overcome fear, anxiety, poverty, addiction, and abuse. Through our heroic network, we have done just that: empowering and supporting women. , and more, showering mothers and babies with resources, love, and family community that many never experience.
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One example is Gina Tomes, founder of Bethlehem House, a maternity facility in Omaha, Nebraska, who spoke at the 50th March for Life. I was amazed at the fruitfulness of Gina’s work with mothers facing unplanned pregnancies. Bethlehem House has helped over 1,200 women, children, and families break the cycle of heartbreak, substance abuse, and homelessness. Homes and centers like Gina’s do more than just help women embrace life. Most are focused on providing women, children, and families with the resources, love, and support they need to help them live happy, successful lives.
Similarly, local pro-life activists often coordinate diaper and clothing drives and baby showers to benefit local pregnancy care centers. The midwives regularly host fun ‘family’ dinner nights where mothers laugh and cook together with their children and new friends. These organizations not only save lives, they change the lives of the people they touch for generations.
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For example, Shaunte Mallory was once a homeless pregnant woman, but her experience at Mary’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, led her to choose life, secure stable housing, and become a trauma counselor and theology student. In addition, I was able to become a certified nursing assistant. . Thanks to the courageous and selfless work of pro-life advocates, women like Shaunte are increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Consider also the inspiring stories from Daniel, Michaela, Dashiron, and Tami to Claire, Mary Pat, Kathleen, and many others. These stories powerfully demonstrate that love truly does save lives. They also highlight the reality that the story of the pro-life movement is a story of redemption, hope, and joy. This is the story of how he has saved more than 800,000 lives since 2016 alone. This is a story of women encouraging other women and empowering each other so that others too can find hope and support when faced with an unexpected pregnancy.
Pregnancy care centers and birthing clinics are truly the backbone of our movement. Leaders and volunteers of such centers work heroically to build a culture of living. This courage, which has inspired so many men and women to go beyond themselves and serve others, is why we continue to walk with women in love, offering them real options and hope for a better future. As we continue, we will continue to support our movement.
Given these beautiful truths, the most appropriate theme for March for Life 2024 and the pro-life movement at this time is “Pro-life: With every woman, for every child.” Our theme will be a compelling reminder of what our pro-life mission is. We hope that not only our marchers, but also those who oppose us, will someday join us in building a culture of living. And love.
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Soon, on January 19, 2024, pro-life advocates from across the country and around the world will fill the National Mall and march through the streets of Washington, D.C., for mothers and babies. I’m looking forward to that day. It’s a time when young marchers are inundated. Excitement and joy, when the sound of the bagpipes resounds again, when the cheers and prayers of the students announce our presence, when the smiles of the old, pinched by the wind, mix with the smiles of the young, when the laughter of children blocks When you hear it from block to block, and when the cheers of the crowd reverberate through the nation’s capital and across generations, with a simple but powerful message.
Because the pro-life movement is here with every woman and every child.
Click here to read more from Jeanne Mancini