Organizers of the March for Life issued the 2018 theme for the pro-life demonstration on Tuesday, and a challenge to pro-life advocates everywhere: “Love Saves Lives.” “Deep down we’re all drawn towards selflessness,” said March for Life president Jeannie Mancini of the theme for the 2018 event. “Choosing life, as we all know is not always easy. But it is the loving, empowering, and self-sacrificial option.”
The Oct. 3 announcement revealed the theme for the 45th annual March for Life, which will take place Jan. 19, 2018. The pro-life event is one of the largest political protests in the United States, consistently bringing an estimated hundreds of thousands to Washington, D.C. each January.
Mancini explained that the theme highlights the need for loving solutions for women facing difficult pregnancies, and for the unborn also in those situations. Mancini pointed out that many abortion proponents rightly note needs for housing, healthcare, leave, and pay when discussing abortion. However, “you don’t solve one problem by creating another,” she urged. “We believe that abortion will never be the solution.”
Allison Howard Centofante, Director of Alliance Relations at Alliance Defending Freedom, gave a powerful testimony on the power of love – and its ability to save lives. “I know for a fact that love saves lives. It saved my father’s life and therefore, it saved mine,” she said. She explained that as an infant, her father was abandoned at a hotel and raised by a Catholic religious order. “I struggled that someone I’m related to could leave a child,” she said, of discovering this news when she was eight. Her father’s perspective, however, made her re-evaluate her pain and see it instead as a gift.
Howard Centofante explained that her father gave a talk highlighting the gift mothers give when choosing life, and how he thanks his mother for leaving him in a place where he would be found. “For him, that’s enough to forgive her,” Howard Centofante said. She also pointed to the love and work done by many pro-life volunteers throughout the country who help women with unplanned pregnancies and help provide them with the resources to take care of themselves, and the life within them.
Susan Gallucci, Executive Director of the Northwest Center, a pregnancy center in Washington, D.C., also spoke of the resources and love women who are facing crisis pregnancies receive. “A lot of women were forced to choose between their housing and abortion,” Gallucci said, explaining that her maternity home works hard to provide aid, counseling, housing and all kinds of support for women through and after their pregnancies.
She told story after story of driving expectant mothers to appointments, or to academic classes, or to help them find housing and jobs while facing all sorts of external pressures. Her experience with these women highlights the truth that “love does save lives and we’re part of family,” Gallucci urged. “Being able to live that out is really a blessing.”
Mancini closed the event speaking to the challenges facing not only the pro-life movement, but the country. “We’re in a moment that desperately needs love,” Mancini said. That love, however, requires action and sacrifice, she commented. “What will you sacrifice to build a culture of life?”