What a wonderful sight to behold: From Capitol Hill as far as I could see, there was a sea of people on the march for life.
But the 40th March for Life was bittersweet.
It was inspiring to see so many people from so many states marching on behalf of our brothers' and sisters' right to be born. But it was sad to think we have been marching for 40 years with no end in sight.
While progress has been made in many states to restrict abortion on demand, we are still a very long way from the day when every single unborn child will be allowed to see the light of day.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, abortion has killed an estimated 54 million babies in America, according to National Right to Life.
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The March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Walk for Life West Coast, the Midwest March for Life, and pro-life demonstrations in various state capitals are shots in the pro-life arm, but these one-day annual events are simply not enough.
We need to march all year long, educating and lobbying for the full protection of every single unborn person's life and dignity.
And we need to regularly be present in large numbers at abortion mills, peacefully and prayerfully denouncing the murders taking place within their walls.
Another way to keep marching is to sign up to receive legislative alerts from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Go to www.usccb.org and put your cursor on "Issues and Action." Click "Take Action Now," then click "Sign up for future action alerts." Type in your contact information and click submit.
It's also important to contact your state Catholic conference and get on their legislative alert list.
During the march, I positioned myself alongside the U.S. Capitol building. There, together with a much older friend, I held a banner urging marchers to stay active in the cause all year long.
Our banner was part of an effort by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform to tell the shocking truth of what abortions look like.
Before the march started, a team of us mounted a display of large pictures graphically revealing the brutal, hideous, evil reality of abortion.
Yes, these pictures are highly controversial. But as with all evil, unless we face it head-on, we often deny its existence. As Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, once told me, "America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion."
In her Nobel Peace Prize speech, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, "I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing -- direct murder by the mother herself. ... Because if a mother can kill her own child -- what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me -- there is nothing in between."
Indeed, abortion is war waged against the smallest and weakest members of humanity. War always inflicts the most suffering on the most vulnerable.
Let's continuously respond to the Lord's call to be consistent peacemakers on behalf of all of our brothers and sisters -- born and unborn. Let's march for life all year long.
[Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about the principles of Catholic social teaching. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.]
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