Pro-lifers had plenty of reason to brave the snowy weather for the 2024 March for Life – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Tens of thousands of people attended this year’s March for Life despite the cold and snowy weather.

I attended the March and, along with LifeSite journalist Louis Knuffke and LifeSite League coordinator Jacinta Rigi, spoke with its attendees about why they attended, with many of them telling us that the fight against abortion wages on despite the overturn of Roe v. Wade about a year-and-a-half ago.

Knuffke begins the episode with interviews of Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey, just off the heels of a press conference introducing a new piece of legislation to protect funding for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), and Jim Harden, head of the CompassCare CPC in Buffalo, New York, that suffered arson attacks in the wake of the leaked Dobbs opinion in 2022.

According to Smith, denying funding to CPCs is “discriminatory” because they are “not out here asking for federal funds, but when a poor person comes in, has needs that could be met, and should be met because they happen to meet the poverty guidelines, and they’re below, they should get it and not be told, ‘Oh, you can’t get it from a pregnancy resource center.’”

He also gave words of encouragement for the pro-lifers arrested last year under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act: “My hope is your sacrifice is not in vain. I don’t believe it is … We’re trying to change laws and policy, hearts and minds. But we still have a situation where it’s open season – literally open season – on unborn babies.”

READ: Time-lapse videos show impressive turnout for 2024 March for Life

Harden told Knuffke that the overturn of Roe v. Wade marked the “end of the beginning of abortion.” “What overturning Roe did was create an abortion tourism dynamics in abortion hub states,” he observed. “We’ve got to be diligent because the fight is getting more intense at the state level. So, unity and vigilance is [sic] key for every pro-life citizen in America today.”

Harden was not the only one to maintain that the pro-life fight must go on after the end of Roe.

Rigi spoke with Mike and Pat Hardy, two students at the Franciscan University of Steubenville who come from a family of nine siblings. Mike stressed that the overturn of Roe made it “important, probably more than ever, for us to really overturn [abortion] at the state level.” Pat, meanwhile, remarked that the March for Life is now a celebration of life. “It’s just a bunch of young people that want to go out and just vocalize that they want to be able to have big families, they want to be able to go and protect those kind of people,” he said.

Rigi got a similar answer from Jimmy and Lauren, two Chaldean Catholics from the Detroit metro area who came with a group of Chaldeans from across the country.

“The fight’s not over,” Lauren told Rigi. “We understand that there’s the unplanned pregnancies, but this is something that we want to continue to fight for, those children that can’t speak for themselves.”

Jimmy agreed, but added that “especially as followers of Christ, we’re not going to stop until we fulfill His word and continue to follow Him in all of our ways.”

Rigi also spoke with Bishop Joseph Strickland, who received a pro-life award prior the March.

Strickland said that it was essential for bishops to get more involved in the pro-life movement, adding that they “thankfully” said abortion and the “sanctity of the life of the unborn is the preeminent issue of our time.” Some of the bishops, he noted, are “very active” in the pro-life movement. Strickland also observed that people are beginning to realize that a lack of respect that “life comes from God” is the cause of a good deal of societal ills, including child trafficking and pornography.

“I encourage all of the bishops to be voices for the sanctity of life and encouraging people to really look beyond whatever obstacles they’re seeing or whatever perspective is really making them thinking that abortion’s okay, or it’s okay for up to a certain time frame in the womb,” Strickland told Rigi. “All of that is simply not related to reality.”

Strickland added that something he learned is the need to keep emphasizing that the woman, the man, and the unborn child are “all beloved of God.” He also said that while Catholics have been accused of caring more for the unborn baby than for the mother, more “movements” are realizing that Catholics are there to care for the expectant mother, to try to urge her not to abort the child, to care for her if she does, and to “just help all of humanity recognize where life comes from.”

“It’s part of the work of bishops to do that,” he concluded.

EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Strickland champions ‘sanctity of life’ at 2024 March for Life

One woman I spoke to, Rebecca Hendershot, told me she is the mother of 10 children, three of whom are biologically her own but the other seven fostered. “We just need to be a public witness for life, that our life is precious and deserves a chance at living and growing, regardless of their situation,” Hendershot told me about why she comes to the March.

She also said that it was important to continue coming to the March, explaining that “there are so many things going on that are against the culture of life.” “We need to continue to be a presence here where the laws are created for the nation, and then take that momentum back to the states so that we can make a difference in our states as well,” she continued.

Liam Hart, of Lexington, Virginia, meanwhile, told me that he came to the March in support of life and those in need of it.

Hart, who has attended the March for Life before, explained that “every time I come, it reminds me again and again how important this event is just to the people who have like no idea what’s going on.”

He also noted that no one talks about what happens after abortions, such as the breakup of families and “leav[ing] mothers helpless,” saying “just coming out here, I know I don’t do much, I’m not out there on the front lines, but I’ll add one heartbeat to the countless other heartbeats around here to say what’s happening in those abortion clinics is wrong.” 

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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