2020 March for Life to Celebrate Women's Empowerment on Anniversary of Women's Suffrage

The banner for the 2019 March for Life. Photo credit: Tyler O'Neil.

The theme of the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C. is “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” The massive protest against Roe v. Wade (1973) will celebrate the Women’s Suffrage movement, drawing attention to the pro-life views of early Suffragists. In a press briefing on Tuesday morning, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini quoted Alice Paul, who condemned abortion as “the ultimate exploitation of women.”


Suffragists succeeded in getting the 19th Amendment ratified in 1920, so the March for Life will celebrate Women’s Suffrage on its 100th anniversary. Many Suffragists were pro-life, including Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Victoria Woodhall.

At that press briefing, the March announced five speakers: four women and one man. Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Chris Smith (R-La.), sponsor and co-sponsor of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, will speak, along with State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-La.) and two survivors of abortion, Melissa Ohden and Claire Culwell.

While Democrats have increasingly supported abortion in recent years, Jackson bucked her party and introduced Act 620, a law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The Supreme Court will consider the law in June Medical Services v. Gee, its first abortion case since the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, highlighted strategies Republicans — now the minority in the House of Representatives — can use against Democrats in their attempt to support abortion. He praised Republicans, who have proven themselves less likely to fight back in the past. McClusky specifically thanked Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).


However, he lamented the way Republicans in the Senate have failed to counter Democrat attempts to undermine the Mexico City Policy, which prevents the U.S. government from funding non-governmental organizations that offer or promote abortion overseas. McClusky warned that the Senate Appropriations Committee has a pro-abortion majority, since the Republican majority includes Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

When asked whether the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, Mancini suggested it was unlikely. She did express optimism about Gee, however. She pledged, “We will work ardently, day in and day out, to change both the law and hearts and minds.”

McClusky said Kavanaugh would not have been his “first choice,” but he said the new justice is “a great addition to the Court.” He did predict that the Court would overturn Roe v. Wade.

While the main March for Life will take place in January in Washington, D.C., the organization has also planned marches across the country. On February 13, pro-life protesters will march to the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. Other marches have been planned in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and they may expand into Maryland and Illinois.

When it comes to women’s empowerment, protesters at last year’s March for Life told PJ Media that abortion is the opposite of empowering.


“It’s demeaning to women to say that abortion empowers them,” Carmel Nisha Pius Franco, a woman from India who moved to New Jersey and advocates against abortion in the U.S. and India, told PJ Media in 2018. “The most powerful thing in the universe is giving life.”

On the other hand, “abortion destroys women — it destroys their dignity and their identity.” Franco, a practicing Roman Catholic, pointed to the Virgin Mary, who arguably gave birth to the most influential person in history. “Look at the Blessed Mother, who was more powerful than her in the whole world?”

This echoed a quip from Jamie Johnson, a man from Louisiana who carried a huge cross to symbolize suffering along with aborted babies. “One unplanned pregnancy saved us all,” he told PJ Media, referring to the birth of Jesus Christ.

McKahl English, a high school student from Bloomington, Ill., argued that abortion damages the women who kill their unborn children. “Even if you abort, that affects you for a long time. You have to take care of yourself. You never meet anybody that regrets having a kid but you meet a lot who regret having an abortion,” English told PJ Media.

Indeed, a study showed that women suffer physically and spiritually from abortion. Worse, nearly 75 percent of the women surveyed said their decision to abort was subject to pressure from others — parents, boyfriends, or husbands. More than 58 percent said they aborted their baby to make others happy, and almost 30 percent said they made the decision from fear of losing their partner if they did not.


If the early Suffragists opposed abortion as exploitative of women, and abortion demeans women, why do so many feminists support it? The pro-life movement is truly a better fit to continue the legacy of the Suffrage movement.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.


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