Pro-life leaders are ‘laser focused’ on state marches this election year: here’s what you need to know — By: Catholic News Agency

Members of the Houston-based Catholic Youth for Life carry their flag, alongside the state flag, at the 2024 Texas March for Life. / Credit: Catholic Youth for Life

CNA Newsroom, Jan 31, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

With regulation of abortion expected to be on the ballot this year in various states, pro-life groups across the country are gearing up for major marches, expected to bring thousands to their respective state capitals to stand up for life. 

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told CNA that her group, which organizes the annual national March for Life, is “laser focused” on the “growth of the state march initiative this year.” 

While the National March for Life in Washington D.C. made headlines for drawing an estimated 100,000 pro-lifers to the nation’s capital on Jan. 19, the group’s emphasis on state marches highlights the renewed importance of pro-life battles in individual states since the overturn of Roe v. Wade. 

“Each call to action is unique depending on the state, but our goal in each state is to help unite and mobilize pro-life residents,” Mancini explained. “The state March program remains critical to help raise awareness of abortion extremism in states around the nation post-Dobbs — especially in states like Ohio, California, and other places where state ballot initiatives and legislation have removed all common-sense protections for women and the unborn.” 

Although the pro-life movement has suffered some setbacks since Roe’s overturn in states such as Ohio, Michigan, and Kansas, Mancini said her group is resolved to continue their work to “educate on the issues.” 

“Our joyful presence in the states helps further our goal of changing hearts and minds on this critical issue, while reminding state lawmakers that their constituents deserve better than the painful lies of the abortion industry.”

“Our particular mission is to unite, equip, and mobilize pro-life Americans,” she explained. “We plan to be very focused on growing this initiative and in doing so, to continue to build pro-life momentum, and further our work to build a culture of life.”

Here are the states where March for Life and other pro-life groups are planning major demonstrations this election cycle. 

Virginia – February 21

The Virginia March for Life, sponsored by March for Life and The Family Foundation, is planned for Feb. 21 in Richmond. The event will begin with a rally at 11 a.m. followed by the march at noon. 

Georgia – February 22

Set for Feb. 22 in Atlanta, the Georgia March for Life will be hosted by March for Life and Georgia Life Alliance. Events will begin with a rally at 10 a.m. in Liberty Plaza. The march will begin at 11 a.m.

Arizona – March 1

Set for Mar. 1, the Arizona March for Life will take place at noon in downtown Phoenix. The march will also include a rally at 11 a.m. in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. 

Arizona for Abortion Access Political Action Committee has filed language with the Secretary of State that could result in a vote on abortion in 2024. More than 38,000 signatures must be gathered by July 3, 2024, for the proposal to reach the ballot.

Maryland – March 11

A state in which abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy and in which a constitutional right to abortion has been proposed, a Maryland pro-life march will take place on Mar. 11 in Annapolis. 

The event is organized by Maryland March for Life, click here for more information

The “Maryland Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment” would cement an abortion “right” in the state’s constitution and make it impossible for pro-life laws to be enacted. The amendment was added to the ballot by the state legislature, based on a supermajority vote in both chambers (60%). The vote will take place on Nov. 5, 2024.

Connecticut – March 20

Sponsored by the March for Life and the Connecticut Catholic Conference, the Colorado March for Life is scheduled for Mar. 20 in Hartford. There will first be a rally at the state capitol at noon and then a march around Bushnell Park beginning at 1 p.m. 

Colorado – April 12

The Colorado March for Life is set to take place Apr. 12 in Denver. Currently, abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy in Colorado. Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate are circulating dueling ballot proposals for 2024. For either amendment to reach the ballot, proponents need to gather more than 124,000 signatures by Aug. 5, 2024.

 Illinois – April 17

In Illinois, where abortion is currently legal through all nine months of pregnancy, the state pro-life march will be co-sponsored by Illinois Right to Life and March for Life. 

Crusaders for Life,” an Illinois pro-life group consisting of several Catholic Chicago parishes, has become known for their flash mob-style pro-life chants and dancing at the national March for Life.

The group has also participated in the state march as well. The Illinois event will take place on Apr. 17 in Springfield, beginning with a rally at the state capitol at noon which will be followed by the march at 1 p.m. 

California – April 22

The fourth annual California March for Life, sponsored by March for Life and the California Family Council, will take place on Apr. 22 in Sacramento.

Previous marches have seen the participation of high-profile pro-lifers such as Live Action founder Lila Rose who in 2023 urged demonstrators to “take back this state!” 

Oregon – May 18

Set for May 18 and hosted by March for Life and Oregon Right to Life, the Oregon march will take place at the state capitol in Salem at 2:30 p.m. 

New York – June 24

In New York, where a proposed constitutional amendment could enshrine a “right” to abortion, a state pro-life group called “March for Life NY” is planning a march at noon on Jun. 24 at the state capitol building in Albany. 

Click here for more information on the march. 

The amendment was added to the ballot by the state legislature after being passed by a majority vote in both chambers in two consecutive legislative sessions, as required by law.

The proposed ballot language also erases gender-specific language such as “him” or “her” from the state constitution and establishes a so-called “right” to invasive sex-change surgeries.

Election Day is Nov. 5, 2024.

Pennsylvania – September 23

Planned for Sep. 23 in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania March for Life is being organized by March for Life and the Pennsylvania Family Institute with the participation of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and several other pro-life groups. 

The schedule for the event indicates that it will kick off with an opening Mass for Life at 9:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There will also be a prayer and praise pre-rally at 10 a.m. followed by a rally at 11 a.m. and then the march at noon. 

Pennsylvania is another state which is in danger of getting a pro-abortion constitutional amendment.

In 2021, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved language for a state constitutional amendment that could result in a vote on abortion in 2024. The legislature must vote a second time to approve the language by the end of the 2024 legislative session before putting the question to voters in this November’s general election.

New Jersey – September 26

Hosted by New Jersey Right to Life and March for Life, with the participation of the Archdiocese of Newark Respect Life Office, the New Jersey March for Life will take place on September 26 in Trenton. 

A rally will kick off the day at 11 a.m. followed by a march at noon. 

Ohio – October 4

In the Buckeye State, where voters last November passed a constitutional amendment adding a right to abortion, the Ohio March for Life is set to take place on Oct. 4 in Columbus. 

Bishop Earl Fernandes of Columbus told CNA that regardless of any legislative defeats or victories, “we have to continue our efforts to build the culture of life and the civilization of love.”

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