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The Power Of One Theme For 2017 March for Life

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The Power Of One Theme For 2017 March for Life


Organizers of the March for Life made it clear Dec. 13 that although they’re
“cautiously optimistic” about eventually overturning the Supreme
Court’s Roe v. Wade decision with a Donald Trump administration and a Republican-controlled
House and Senate, they don’t expect to be in lockstep with other aspects of the
new president’s agenda.

“We’re nonpartisan,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, adding, “We always
advocate that people vote pro-life” without regard to party label.
“Difficult as it is, we always try to have a Democratic speaker at the
March for Life as well,” she said.

Referring to the president-elect’s volatility on social media, Tom McClusky, the march
organization’s vice president of government affairs, remarked: “You always
have to worry about the 3 a.m. tweet that’s going to knock your whole agenda

The annual march, which in some years has drawn as many as 100,000 participants, always including busloads of
teens from Catholic schools from across the United States, is scheduled for
Jan. 27, one week after Trump’s inauguration and five days after the 44th
anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized
abortion virtually on demand.

One of Trump’s initial tasks
will be to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, a strong
pro-life jurist who died in February. That appointment alone is not expected to
result in a repeal of legal abortion, but is expected to restore a 5-4
conservative majority on the court.

Mancini also expressed optimism
for legislation called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has
passed the House but remains stalled in the Senate. It would block abortions
after the fetus is at least 20 weeks old. “It is our hope that in this
administration, late-term abortions will be outlawed,” Mancini said.

Initially, Mancini and McClusky
said their expectation is that the Hyde Amendment, considered a temporary fix
to block federal funds from paying for abortions, could be made permanent law.

That measure prohibits federal
funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the woman’s
life. Proposed by the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois and first
enacted in 1976, it is an amendment on an appropriation bill Congress must pass
each year. It prevents taxpayer funding of abortions in various federal health
programs run by the Department of Human Services, which oversees the National
Institutes of Health, Medicaid and Medicare, and the Children’s Health
Insurance Program, among others.

Mancini said of Trump’s
election, “I think in a way we’re recovering from the shock — in a good
way. I think there’s such an unexpected sense of hope.”

She had been on the sidewalk in
front of the Supreme Court May 27 when the court issued its 5-3 decision in
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The court struck down restrictions on
Texas abortion clinics that required them to comply with standards of
ambulatory surgical centers and required their doctors to have admitting
privileges at local hospitals.

“In a million years, I
never thought things would turn the way they’ve turned,” she said.

As for the pre-march rally on
the Washington Monument grounds, Mancini said they’ve invited a few individuals
they expect to be working in the Trump White House to address the marchers, but
have not received confirmations.

Speakers the organizers have
confirmed include Karyme Lozano, a star of Mexican telenovelas; Cardinal Timothy
M. Dolan of New York, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and possibly a Hollywood performer, whom Mancini declined to name but
described as “open to our issues.”

This year’s theme is “The
Power of One.” Mancini said it references both the impact of a single vote
and a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote in “The Fellowship of the Ring”:
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”


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