Organizers of March of Life, the premier annual event of the anti-abortion movement, are calling on their supporters across the country not to gather in Washington this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and political unrest.
Instead, a small group of invited anti-abortion leaders will take off on January 29, and the event will be broadcast live, March for Life president Jean Mancini announced Friday.
“As we are in the midst of a pandemic that may reach its climax, and given the increasing pressures that law enforcement officers and others are currently facing in and around the Capitol, this year’s march for life will look different,” she said. “The annual parade will be held virtually and we are asking all participants to stay home and join around March.”
Mancini said soccer star Tim Thibaut was still slated to deliver a keynote speech at a virtual party taking place after the downsized rally.
Mancini said she is looking forward to holding the event in person next year.
The march has been held annually since 1974, one year after the Supreme Court ruling “Roe v. Wade” legalized abortion throughout the United States. Even the snowstorms of 1987 and 2016 did not mandate the cancellation, although turnout was lower than usual.
Also influenced by the events of March for Local Life this year. State rallies in Arkansas and Oregon have been postponed indefinitely, while a planned march in Tucson, Arizona, has been converted into a car convoy dubbed Road Rally for Life.
Instead, the national prayer vigil, which is usually held the night before the National March at the Basilica of the National Immaculate Conception in Washington, will be an event broadcast live, with the participation of bishops from nearly all parts of the United States.
A year ago, President Donald Trump became the first incumbent US president to address the March for Life. Trump has become a champion of many anti-abortion activists for having appointed Supreme Court judges and other federal judges seen as open to the possibility of overturning or weakening Roe’s ruling against Wade.
This year’s event will take place nine days after the inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden, who is a staunch supporter of abortion rights.
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