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Why We Still March for Life

Davis Carman|February 16, 2024

As a creation-based science, math, and Bible curriculum publisher, it makes sense that one of my personal interests is to be involved in the fight to protect God’s “very good” creation— namely, mankind. Human beings are made in the imago Dei, meaning the “image of God.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  –Gen. 1:27

He not only created man and woman in his likeness, but he specially created them to come together and make more image-bearers.  

What comes into your mind when you hear the words “pro-life” and “pro-choice?” I wrote an article on this subject after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022. 

Last month, Rachael and I went to the 51st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. We’ve participated nine times, and this year marked our eighth consecutive year to march. Our schedule for Friday, January 19th, included three main events: a breakfast, the rally and march, and a gala dinner. Little did we know that our plans would be significantly altered. And yet, God redirected our steps in a way that was completely “on point” with the purpose of the whole weekend. 

The Breakfast

March for Life is a national pro-life organization based in Washington, D.C. Their vision is to create a society that views abortion as unthinkable. I am a proud supporter of their work and ministry. As you can read in the article I wrote on this subject in July of 2022, I would actually go one step further. In order to move our culture toward what I believe is an actual pro-life way of thinking, its members would need to view children as blessings. Although it sounds straightforward, changing hearts and minds on this topic would require a massive cultural shift. 

Ultimately, the path (from worst to best) is to get people to move from pro-abortion to anti-life, to anti-abortion, to pro-life. With Roe overturned, the work has shifted to the states. Right now, the desire is to work on convincing citizens and legislators to move from pro-choice to anti-abortion. Ultimate success would be viewing abortion as unthinkable.

At the March for Life breakfast, we got to hear a dozen short pro-life messages from members of the U.S. House and Senate. They mentioned two bills that were passed that week protecting the lives of unborn children. They reminded us that the left-leaning members of Congress want to codify abortion-on-demand if or when they get a majority. 

So what can the right-leaning leaders do proactively while they have a majority?

They mentioned some of their strategies. For example, the right should try just as hard to codify life by making the murder of an unborn child illegal. One possible strategy would be to start by passing a law making it illegal to kill children up to five years old. You may ask, “What good this would do?” Why propose a law to oppose such an obvious wrong? Because it ought to pass through both chambers of Congress with unanimous votes of 435-0 and 100-0. Think about it. To allow the killing of any child aged five-years-old or younger should be unthinkable to anyone.

 Jim Harbaugh,Then, the pro-life leaders could try to pass another law making it illegal to kill a pregnant mother. Again, a no-brainer because it ought to be unthinkable to vote against such a bill. Then, keep ratcheting it closer to home until it’s possible to pass a bill outlawing the murder of a child in the womb.

One highlight of the breakfast was that the Michigan University head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, made a surprise visit and gave an impassioned 5-minute speech to fire us up for the day ahead.

The Rally and March

The middle section of the day’s events on this cold and snowy day included the rally and march. Here is a 5-minute clip of Coach Jim Harbaugh and Benjamin Watson presenting a message during the March for Life rally. And here is a time-lapse video of the March itself.

Little did we know that our plans would unexpectedly alter. 

One of my daughters lives and works in Washington, D.C. She also has a side hustle as a trained and certified doula. This is a person who coaches and advocates for a pregnant mom during labor, delivery, and postpartum. One of her clients was due on January 22nd (three days away). When Rachael and I returned to the hotel after breakfast, we got a text from Savannah Anne saying her client was in labor and heading to the hospital. By noon it became clear that she needed to leave work a little early to be on site with the expectant mom. 

Well, it turns out that Rachael is also a trained and certified doula. Because Savannah Anne could not leave work immediately, so Rachael stepped in. We all switched gears and got ready to help a mother welcome a new child into the world. The first order of business was for Rachael and me to drive to our daughter’s apartment to pick up her doula bag, which was already packed and ready. With bag in hand, we drove to the hospital, where I dropped off Rachael. I headed back to the hotel, waiting for instructions and hoping we would all still be able to make it to the gala. But we were already adjusting our priorities. I mean, helping a mom deliver a baby on the actual day of March for Life just seemed poetic.

2024 March For Life GalaSavannah Anne arrived at the hospital roughly two hours after Rachael. She went to work helping the mom, and all the signs suggested the baby would be born within hours. We all talked and agreed that the girls should stay at the hospital if the birth were imminent. If this baby were born by 5:30 PM, then the girls would have time to make it to the gala. Worst case, it would turn into a guys’ night with just me and Savannah Anne’s boyfriend.

We reconvened via phone at 5:30 and got the news that things were slowing down with the mom’s labor and progress. The doctor had already stopped by and declared that the birth was easily 6-7 hours away. So we decided the girls would make their way to the gala and return to the hospital afterward.

The Gala Dinner

Savannah Anne’s boyfriend and I made it to the 6:00 p.m. reception, and the girls arrived by 6:45, hurriedly changed clothes, and walked into the main ballroom by 7:15, making a fashionably late entrance. The program started at 8:00 p.m., and the evening ended right on schedule at 9:00 p.m.

The fundraiser reception and gala dinner entertained about 1,000 supporters. This was a formal event at the Westin with a wonderful meal and program. We heard from three speakers, including Benjamin Watson of the Human Coalition and former NFL tight end and Super Bowl winner. He encouraged us to keep pressing on until abortion is not only unthinkable but also unnecessary. 

When we were saying our goodbyes, my daughter received a text saying that the baby had just been born. What? That was a bit of a surprise but a welcome one all the same. A new imago Dei, who had been alive for nine months already, had graduated from the safety of his mother’s womb to the outside world. This little life—and every little life—deserves to be cherished, protected, and advocated for both inside and outside the womb. 

What Can You Do in this Literal Fight for Life?

The fight for life is clearly not over. Abortion is allowed in many states. March for Life and other pro-life organizations have adjusted their strategies to focus on state marches. March for Life organized six in 2023, have fourteen on the calendar for 2024, and have plans to march in all fifty states by 2030. The January March for Life in Washington, D.C., is now the annual time to gather all the troops, students, crisis pregnancy center workers, pro-life organization leaders, men and women of the U.S. Congress, moms and dads, sons and daughters. It’s a time to be recharged and sent back out into the fields to protect the unborn in this literal fight for life.

What can you do? Here are some options.

  • Pray for the moms and dads facing a crisis pregnancy
  • Pray for the hearts and minds of everyone to love children and choose life
  • Volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center
  • Make a financial donation to a pro-life organization (Ex: March for Life, Students for Life, Care-Net, And Then There Were None, or your local crisis pregnancy center)
  • Come to Washington, D.C. in January for the next annual March for Life weekend.

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