The March for Life: A Legacy of Love

Mike Pence at MarchBy Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

The world’s largest pro-life event steps out January 18, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.

High school and college students, mothers and fathers, grandparents and children will be showcasing their opposition to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which brought us abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth.

Pennsylvania will be well-represented at the March, as numerous chapters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation will be sponsoring buses to the peaceful, passionate gathering.

In honor of the March, we decided in this issue of LifeLines to feature the words of two veteran marchers who have a lifetime worth of experience championing the rights of pregnant women and their babies.

The Legacy of People for Life

“People for Life began its March for Life tradition by chartering a bus to the very first March for Life in 1974,” said Tim Broderick, President of Erie’s People for Life, a chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Broderick also serves on the Federation’s Board of Directors.

“Since then, we have not missed a single year. When I began volunteering with our organization on a weekly basis, in January 1995, I was already aware of the bus trip, but only vaguely. I declined to go along on the bus trip that year, thinking the whole thing was just for entertainment and not ‘serious’ pro-life work. I decided to go in 1996, however, mainly out of curiosity. I found the experience moving beyond words, and I rode back to Erie on ‘Cloud Nine’ and stayed there for about a week!

“Having become more involved in leading People for Life over the years, it has been part of my job to supervise the bus trip. Thankfully, I have been able to attend each and every March for Life since my 1996 experience. It never gets old. Some of it is very routine now, but each March for Life is unique and has its own unique flavor, and it grows larger and larger with nearly every passing year.

“Our March for Life bus trip has grown as well, from a single motor coach in 1974 to as many as five of the newer and larger motor coaches in recent years. And there have been spin-offs, with at least five other groups now sending their own buses from the three-county area that we used to serve exclusively.

“As a moving and uplifting experience, perhaps the March for Life is ‘entertainment’ after all. But it has also become, without a doubt, a tremendous symbol of pro-life love–and pro-life resolve–for the entire world. Thanks to generous news coverage by our local TV news departments, our bus trip is doing its little part to bring that message of love and resolve to as many people as possible,” Broderick added.

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The Pro-Life Generation

“I have attended the March many years and I attended the first March for Life as a sophomore in college,” said Dr. Denise Wilcox, southeast regional director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Pennsylvania’s delegate to the National Right to Life Board of Directors.

“We rode in a VW bus from Morgantown West Virginia. We didn’t have any heat in the bus either but we were sure our voices would overturn Roe vs Wade if we just chanted loud enough as we marched down the avenue. Now I ride in a heated coach bus, and I arrive to meet thousands of people who make me feel that this nation has so much hope and promise!

“I realize that the young people in the crowd have outnumbered my generation and I realize too that I have finally passed the torch to them. Each year the 1973 decision to legalize abortion has been weakened by state and federal legislation. I pray that I will one day see this decision overturned. Then, I can ride to DC and celebrate that day with a March to commemorate the lives that will be saved!”