Standing outside of the March for Life rally on Friday, Meghan McCarthy could identify with both sides of the abortion argument. It wasn’t that long ago that she had an unplanned pregnancy. The pressure from what she called the “pro-aborts” was serious.
Fortunately, the support she felt from her family and friends was equally fierce. Her response, rooted in her faith, was unwavering.
“My family wasn’t happy with me obviously because they raised me differently,” Meghan shared. “But I looked at it like I could protect the image of two or the souls of three. So that’s what I did.”
Since the Supreme Court legalized abortion with the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade, that’s not the route millions of moms-to-be have taken. Statistics indicate in 47 short years, 61 million babies have been killed. That’s roughly the equivalent of dropping California (39 million people) and Florida (21 million) off the United States map.
On Friday, thousands of women and men packed Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., to take a stand for life. They carried signs as they marched. There were serious ones like “I Regret My Abortion,” and light-hearted ones like a panda pleading for folks to “Save the baby humans.”
No matter the delivery, the same message rang through. And it transcended denominations, as Franklin Graham commented while waiting for the March to begin.
“A lot of wonderful people that we’ve been able to meet, people from all across the United States, every walk of life,” Graham said. “You have Anglicans here, you have Catholics here, you have Protestants here, you have Orthodox, everybody. And it’s just incredible.”
Graham marched with his daughter Cissie Graham Lynch, who like so many remarked on the age of the participants. Many commented throughout the day that the ever-growing turnout seems to get younger every year.
“It’s so awesome to see young people,” Lynch shared on Instagram. “I love it.”
Lynch and her father blended in with the thousands walking almost shoulder-to-shoulder along Constitution Avenue. The route took marchers past the Capitol Building and to the front of the Supreme Court building.
Rebecca Minogue is in her early 30s now, but she remembers walking these grounds with her family as early as 10 years old. Sure, she admitted, it was fun to miss school for a day, but the bigger picture helped shape her mindset around protecting life.
And likewise on Friday, some of the students were simply jubilant to be out of class. They didn’t mind the 50-degree weather even when a few cold drops started to fall from the cloud-covered sky. They cheered and chanted and some even had serious side conversations with one another about the topic of the day.
It all caught the eye of Arminda Rubio-Pitio, a grandmother who works with a pro-life group in New Jersey. She stood on the curb watching school group after school group pass by. One marcher told onlookers her New Orleans school had brought 600 students.
“It’s such a beautiful thing to see the youth here,” Arminda said. “This is so encouraging to me and warms my heart.”
When she reflected on her family’s history with abortion, she grew somber, serious. She remembered how her father had tried to force her mother to abort her younger sister and then later, her brother. Arminda’s mom refused. Her dad divorced her.
Today, Arminda’s brother has four children. That makes at least five lives that could have never been because of one decision. Arminda said her mother remains her hero, and she urges all moms-to-be to never forget 1 John 4:4. That Bible verse declares, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
“When you’re pregnant, you need the support of family and friends and neighbors,” Arminda said. “And you don’t get that in our society. You feel very frightened. But that Bible verse is so powerful. You know God is with you.”
Sometimes an unplanned pregnancy—or really even a planned one—can be a much-needed reminder of God’s sovereignty. Andrew Wynne held hands with his two sons after listening to the speakers during the pre-March rally.
“This changed my life,” Andrew said, lifting up both of his hands clasped around his young sons’ hands. “When you’re holding the hands of two young men who are going to grow up to be like you, you need to know you have to be the image of God to them here on earth.”
Andrew was among the people thrilled that President Donald Trump chose to attend, becoming the first United States president to speak at the pro-life rally. People applauded, whistled and cheered throughout his brief message which underscored the sanctity of life.
“We declare that mothers are heroes,” Trump said in his final remarks. “Your strength, devotion and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls that have changed the course of human history.”