For One Short Day: Reflections on the 2012 March for Life

They came from Vermont, Texas and New Jersey; from John Carroll High School in Tampa, Fla., the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Mich., and from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. They came literally from everywhere; “pro-lifers” with their banners, signs and backpacks, their matching hats, sweatshirts and neon-colored scarves. And in spite of a drizzling rain, they marched down Constitution Avenue, past the Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court to bear witness to life. To tell the world that human life begins at conception, not at viability, or the “quickening,” or when someone “chooses” to acknowledge it. They came to bear witness even though, it seemed, no one else was really listening.

They were young people, many of them, gathered in groups and marching together with their chaperones, singing and praying their rosaries. Walking in their midst were post-abortive women, handicapped persons in wheelchairs and the occasional prophet calling for the world to repent. The mood was somber, yet joyful. They exuded the type of energy that comes only from youth – cheering and chanting and challenging other groups to join in.

For one short day, the city of politicians and lawyers, the city of lobbyists and the U.S. military establishment was visited by more than a quarter of a million Americans who refuse to accept the contemporary conventional “wisdom” that says a woman’s right to choose deserves greater legal protection than a child’s right to live.

For one short day, the Capital city of the world’s greatest democracy was confronted once again with the unavoidable truth that abortion stops a beating heart, that the Constitutional “right to privacy” comes at the inexplicable price of a human life. And while the secular world might not have been listening, for those who braved the rain and the cold for one short day there was a hope that in the next generation, America will acknowledge that human life, yea even human life in the womb, should be protected and indeed is worth marching for.

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