By Rose Wagner
KNIGHTS JOIN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS FOR 46TH YEAR OF DEFENDING LIFE
WASHINGTON — Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stood before the throngs of people assembled on the mall in Washington D.C. for this year’s 46th national March for Life and delivered a message four decades in the making.
“Some of us have been coming back for more than 40 years now,” he said. “But the really great news is that you, the pro-life generation, aren’t going to wait that long! You won’t have to wait that long to win justice for the unborn and compassionate care for their mothers.
“Why? Because of the progress we’ve made in rebuilding a culture of life.”
One example of this progress is the fact the Knights of Columbus recently placed its 1,000th ultrasound in a crisis pregnancy center. Ultrasounds are a proven way of reducing abortion because many women opt to keep their babies when they see the fetus on the ultrasound.
The Knights, meanwhile, proudly displayed their commitment at the march as well. There, tens of thousands of Knights of Columbus “Love Life, Choose Life” signs were among the sea of signs and banners, and interspersed in the crowd were hundreds of K of C hats and ear warmers, helping ward off the cold in the snow-covered capital.
The Friday, Jan. 18 event began with a rally sponsored by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund under the theme “unique from day one.” Supreme Knight Anderson spoke at the rally shortly after the airing of a video thanking the Knights of Columbus for their funding of 1,000 life-saving ultrasound machines.
Citing a recent Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus in 2018, he said that 3 out of 4 Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion.
“That’s 9 out of 10 Republicans, almost 8 out of 10 Independents and 6 out of 10 Democrats,” the supreme knight said. “Standing for life is not radical. Overturning abortion is the majority position.”
This majority position is a sign that Roe v. Wade will be reversed, he explained.
“I promise you this: The day is not far off when you will return, not for a demonstration, but for a victory parade down Pennsylvania Ave.! Together on that day we will celebrate the victory for faith and science — for both compassionate care and common sense.”
In a surprise appearance, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, also addressed the rally.
“We gather because we stand for life. We gather because we stand for compassion,” the vice president said. “From the White House to your house, life is winning in America once again.”
Pence’s remarks were followed by a video message from President Donald Trump, who affirmed that “every life has meaning and every life is worth defending” and that “every child is a sacred gift from God.”
The message that every life has meaning is central to the March for Life, which can be traced to grassroots efforts in the 1970’s. Two years before her death, March for Life Founder Nellie Gray remembered the K of C involvement in these grassroots efforts, saying, “I received a call from [some] Knights of Columbus. I didn’t even know who they were, but they explained their stance against abortion and needed a place to meet to discuss plans for a march. That place was my living room.”
Eileen Vogel of Women Concerned for the Unborn Child in Pennsylvania was in Gray’s living room during that meeting with Knights.
“I remember saying that it didn’t matter how many people showed up,” Vogel said. “If there were only 10 of us, history would have to record that there was a voice of protest against the killing of innocent babies.”
As evidenced by this year’s marching crowd, the peaceful voice of protest is still strong, even after 46 years. After the rally, said to be the largest to date in the march’s 40 year history, the crowd grew in size, reaching hundreds of thousands, according to EWTN reporters at the event.
The Knights of Columbus have been at the forefront of March for Life since the first march in 1974. Knights put their pro-life beliefs into action with countless other pro-life programs, including the Ultrasound Initiative, Pregnancy Center Support, Special Olympics, Masses for People with Special Needs and so much more. Each shows the world that every person deserves the chance to be loved, to be welcomed and to live to his or her full potential.
Want to be part of our global pro-life efforts? Join us by visiting kofc.org/joinus.
In closing, Supreme Knight Anderson challenged the crowd to keep working to end abortion.
“When you get back home,” he said, “get to it.
“Oh, one more thing. You guys – how about joining the Knights?”
For questions, or to tell your Knights of Columbus pro-life or March for Life story, email Rose.Wagner@kofc.org.