Southern Marylanders March for Life
Southern Marylanders arrived by the busload Friday as tens of thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators from across the country flocked to Washington, D.C., for the 44th March for Life.
This year’s march, held annually following the
1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, was highlighted by remarks of Vice President Mike Pence (R) and pres- idential advisor Kellyanne Conway. Pence, the highest ranking U.S. official to ever speak at the event, received thunderous ap- plause when he promised that President Donald Trump (R) would fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a pro-life justice.
Many Christian parish- es from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties organized bus convoys to transport local activists to and from the nation’s capital.
While there is no official crowd size estimate, Cid Marcus, chairman of the Charles County Right to Life chapter, believes the movement to overturn Roe v. Wade has garnered new strength thanks to a pro-life Trump administration.
“We think the crowd’s larger this year … because we have a president who’s made some pro-life promises,” Marcus said, while also pointing out Trump’s recent move to reinstate the “Mexico City policy” that defunds U.S. aide to foreign nongovernmental agencies that consider abortion as a family planning option. “We’re hoping that he’ll sign a law that will ban abortion at 20 weeks.”
Many supporters of stricter regulations argue that at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain, though precisely when this occurs is still debated within the scientific community.
“We believe that life is precious from conception to natural death,” Marcus added. “You defend it at all stages, and I agree with that.”
Marcus and his wife, Elizabeth, who have regularly attended the March for Life for the last four decades, became adamant in their beliefs after struggling to get pregnant. On one particular occasion, Marcus described overhearing how casually abortion was discussed by staff at a medical facility while he and his wife underwent fertility test- ing. In the following years, they fostered 14 children, three of whom they adopt- ed.
“And here we are,” said Marcus, “paying good dol- lars, not insurance dollars, out of our own pocket to try to get pregnant, and people were killing their babies. I said, ‘That’s not right.’”
Also in attendance was Nina Porsiri of Huntingtown, who marched with about 150 people from Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church in Hun- tingtown. Porsiri is no stranger to the March for Life, and has lost count of how many marches she’s been to. At least 10, she estimated.
“I stand for life because life is sacred,” she said. “I believe nobody should have the ability to take an innocent human life.”
After marching in Wash- ington, D.C., many times before, Porsiri said this year’s march had more of an atmosphere of hope and she felt like the prolife movement was invig- orated by the new admin- istration.
“The atmosphere was way different,” she said.
Samantha Wilt of Mechanicsville and a junior at Towson University, who marched with a group of about 150 people from St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church in Hollywood, said she was also struck by how much hope there was at the march — espe- cially with Pence speaking in person at the march.
“There was definitely a lot of hope,” Wilt said, adding that some at the march even thought that next year, marching to repeal Roe v. Wade might not even be necessary.
This was Wilt’s first experience at the March for Life or at a protest of any kind. She was nervous about attending her first protest, but it faded away once she saw the joy and peace displayed by the marchers.
“I really believe in stand- ing for the pro-life movement and wanted to show my support for all the babies and all the women who have experienced abortions ... and march with all those thousands of people,” Wilt said.
Samuel Matthews, a senior at Huntingtown High School and president of Huntingtown High School Students For Life, attended the march in a group of 16 students from HHS.
“I think you see hope in every march, but there was more expectation in the air this year,” Mat- thews said. Matthews even spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court during the march. He spoke about how his generation can end abor- tion just as previous generations fought during the civil rights movement.
The possibility that the new administration could lead to change regarding abortion in the U.S. is especially exciting for the younger marchers, who have dubbed themselves the “pro-life generation.”
“I see it as a social justice movement. I think that all humans no matter who they are, whether inside or outside the womb, have an equal right to life,” Matthews said.
Caleb Shorts, a family friend, stands with Cid Marcus and his wife, Elizabeth Marcus, as the massive crowd of pro-lifers marchers on. Cid Marcus has been the off-and-on chairman of the Charles County Right to Life chapter since 1980.
Brian and Nina Ferrera of La Plata stand together, brother and sister, against abortion at the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Above left, A group of about 16 students from Huntingtown High School took part in the annual March for Life. Above right, Greg Lawrence, left, Ryan Miller, Bradley Beckman, Emma Thompson, Gabe Ichniowski, Kyle Campbell and Jonathan Cooper from St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church in Hollywood participate in the March for Life held in Washington, D.C., last weekend.
Among a throng of Charles County residents mingled together toward the main stage during the rally were pro-lifers Cindy Clemons, Meagan West and her daughter, Sara West.
Tens of thousands of people mobilize as the march began from the Washington Monument and ended at the Supreme Court, where anti-abortionists hope Roe v. Wade will be repealed.
Shouts of “save the babies” and “we are the pro-life generation” echoed throughout the crowd during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.