Jonathan Roumie, known for his role as "Jesus" in the television series The Chosen, and other Catholic speakers are in the lineup for this year's 50th annual national March for Life on Jan. 20.
“We are overjoyed to welcome these inspiring leaders at this year's 50th March for Life, the first in our post-Roe nation," Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, which organizes the March, said in a statement.
The March for Life is a non-partisan, non-sectarian pro-life event, but the 50th annual event will include other Catholics speaking besides Roumie at the pre-March rally on the national mall: both Sister Mary Casey of the Sisters of Life and Gina Tomes, program director of the Bethlehem House maternity home, will address the crowd. Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will lead the opening prayer.
The March for Life first took place in Washington in 1974 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide as a constitutional right. But the 2023 event will be the first national March since the Supreme Court's June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned the high court's previous precedent in the 1973 Roe v. Wade and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions.
Additional scheduled March for Life speakers include Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who argued the Dobbs Supreme Court case that overturned Roe; Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse; Dr. Christina Francis, CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy.
The band We Are Messengers is performing a pre-rally concert.
The 2023 March for Life takes place as the nation grapples with the end of Roe v. Wade, and states move to either restrict or expand legal access to abortion.
Mancini said that, "With Roe now behind us, we are empowered to save countless innocent American lives by continuing to advocate for commonsense protections at the state and federal level, educating Americans on the intrinsic dignity of all human life."
"This year will be a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost to abortion in the past 50 years," she said, "but also a celebration of how far we have come and where we as a movement need to focus our effort as we enter this new era in our quest to protect life."