The march began in 1974, a year after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, invalidating state restrictions on the practice.
Nellie Gray, who was from Big Spring, Texas — a town that recently began the process of declaring itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn” — organized the first march and decided to hold one every year until Roe is overturned.
Every year, the annual event has consistently drawn large crowds of people championing the pro-life cause.
Even in January 1987, when a blizzard struck the nation’s capital, an estimated 10,000 people showed up for the rally.
In 2017, Vice President Mike Pence became the first U.S. vice president to speak to the pro-life activists at the march.
In the following two years, President Trump addressed the crowds via satellite, becoming the first president to do so.
This year, Trump spoke at the rally in person.
“We know this: every life brings love into this world, every child brings joy to a family, every person is worth protecting, and above all, we know that every human soul is divine and that every human life — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of almighty God,” said Trump.
Trump touted the pro-life measures he has taken in office, including the appointment of 187 federal judges.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration approved a waiver that reestablished federal funding for Healthy Texas Women, a program to provide women’s health and family planning benefits to women in need. The program previously had its federal funding stripped by the Obama administration after the state excluded abortion providers and their affiliates from it.
Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values said, “Texas is a state that values life, and we are proud to see President Trump stand with us on this issue. Texas is proving it is possible to both care for women and protect life.”
While the march in Washington drew at least tens of thousands of pro-life supporters, a rally in Austin tomorrow is expected to draw large numbers as well.
“[T]housands of pro-life Texans, including Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director, Joe Pojman, Ph.D., will gather on the corner of 14th Street and San Jacinto to march to the south steps of the Capitol for the annual Texas Rally for Life,” according to a media advisory from Texas Alliance for Life.
Several speakers will be present at the Texas Rally for Life on Saturday, including State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) and U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21).
Other pro-life rallies and events were held throughout the past week across Texas, including in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and El Paso.
“Standing for faith, family, and freedom, begins with protecting life. Why we march is to be a voice for the unborn child,” said Saenz.
With the large crowds in the pro-life rallies, Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, said, “I really do believe the conscience of America is waking up. People are realizing their faith is in conflict with their reality and that is a real problem. People everywhere are realizing that they cannot be silent any longer. They are realizing that they must do something to be a part of the end of the American Abortion Holocaust.”
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.