March for Life 2023 speakers celebrate Roe’s end, call for Americans to keep fighting for life

The 50th Annual March for Life took place today, but for the first time, it took place in a post-Roe world. However, abortion remains legal in many states across the country, and participants marched for the continuing goal of protecting human life beginning at fertilization.

This year’s theme was “Next Steps: Marching Forward into a Post-Roe America,” and many of the speakers at the rally before the march echoed that message.

Jeanne Mancini

Mancini, the president of the March for Life, spoke about the march, describing it as “the world’s largest, longest running annual human rights demonstration.” After the pledge of allegiance and a blessing, Mancini spoke about the massive change in the country after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, overturning Roe, which happened on June 24th, 2022.

“So many giants paved the way for this momentous victory, including our own Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life, whose birthday was on June 24th,” she said. “I can’t think of a better birthday gift.” She continued by urging people to continue a public, peaceful presence to advocate for life, even after the fall of Roe.

“We’re not yet done,” she said. “While this year marks our most significant victory, the human rights abuse of abortion is far from over. Sadly, this year alone in the United States, there will be well over 700,000 abortions, and we know that in every abortion, one life is taken, and at least one life is wounded…. We will march until abortion is unthinkable.”

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch

AG Lynn Fitch (Screenshot: EWTN)

Fitch is the attorney general behind Dobbs who fought to keep Mississippi’s laws protecting preborn children in place. She likewise called for changes that support women and children, and for people to continue fighting for life.

“Until we can make changes in our laws that reflect our compassion for all lives and until we can change hearts and minds in our fellow Americans… until then, life remains fragile,” she said. “So it is our charge today in this new Dobbs era, to channel that same determination, and hope, and prayer that has led you to these streets for 50 years. Use it to make changes to support women and children… to support women when they are pregnant and nurturing a young family. Use it to promote workplace flexibility, use it to improve child support to make fathers equally responsible for their children. Use it to fix adoption and foster care systems that fail our children.”

Rep. Steve Scalise

Scalise, a pro-life congressman and the Republican majority leader of the House of Representatives, urged the importance of voting for pro-life politicians. “Why do you support people who are pro-life?” he asked. “Eighty different times, Nancy Pelosi blocked [the born alive] bill from coming to the floor. In just eight days of a Republican majority, we brought up the bill and passed it through the House of Representatives.”

Scalise encouraged pro-lifers to vote for pro-life candidates because “life and death is at stake.”

He also reiterated that while certain politicians are extreme on abortion, largely, the voters are not. “One out of 212 Democrats supported [the born alive] bill,” he said. “Now that’s not America. Seventy percent of Democrats think it’s wrong to allow that baby to die. Yet up here in Washington, that’s how extreme they have gotten.”

Rep. Chris Smith

Smith began by calling abortion the most critical human rights issue of our time, emphasizing the fact that while “we celebrate Roe is gone,” there is more to do.

“In the coming weeks, the House will vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” he continued. “The latest Knights of Columbus Marist poll … found again that 60% of Americans oppose using taxes for abortion, and even more so when abortions are done overseas. The American people really are with us. Please don’t believe the false statements being made by some in the media, and certainly, by our opponents.”

“Future generations will someday look back on us and wonder how and why a society that bragged about its commitment to human rights could have legally sanctioned and aggressively promoted child beheadings, dismemberment, chemical poisoning and forced expulsion from the womb.”


Tony and Lauren Dungy

Coach Tony Dungy (Screenshot EWTN)

Dungy, a Super Bowl-winning player and coach, appeared with his wife. They are advocates for life and adoption. He began by discussing the sudden collapse of Damar Hamlin, which he said inspired people to move to protect life. “The real miracle was the reaction of everyone to that,” he said, adding, “All across the country, people started praying… the Bills players prayed right on the spot.” Previously, he said players were told by the NFL not to pray during or after games, making this a huge change.

“Teams got together and prayed and it was amazing. Those prayers were answered,” he continued, adding:

That game was canceled. Why? Because a life was at stake, and people wanted to see that life saved… that should be encouraging to us, because that’s exactly why we’re here today. Because every day in this country, innocent lives are at stake. The only difference is they don’t belong to a famous athlete, and they’re not seen on national TV. But those lives are still important to God and in God’s eyes.

Psalm 139 tells us that God is watching every one of these young bodies as they’re growing in their mother’s womb, because He placed them there. Now we know that there are a lot of people in this country that don’t believe that. They don’t see these babies are important, they don’t even see them as lives… We need to pray with the same fervor we did during that week, because God answers prayer, and He will answer these prayers to save these precious unborn lives as we go forward.

So if we do our part, we’ll save more and more of these lives… When God does give us more of these lives, what are we going to do to nurture these children and help them grow?

Lauren Dungy then advocated for the protection of life after birth.

“If you believe in the sanctity of life, and you are pro-life, then what are we going to do about it?” she asked, adding that they became adoptive parents. “As Psalm 127 reminds us, children are a gift from the Lord, and we do know that is true… I am so grateful for these birth moms that chose life rather than abortion… This is not about pro-choice or being politically correct… we are talking about LIVES.”

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Dr. Christina Francis

Francis is a board-certified OB/GYN and the CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). “I’m here today to represent tens of thousands of pro-life medical professionals across this country. We have stood for the dignity of our patients for the last 50 years, and we are not going to stop. Because when we took our oaths as physicians to put our patients first, and to never intentionally end their lives, we meant it.”

She said that pro-abortion organizations are threatening the jobs of pro-life medical professionals who refuse to participate in abortion, and looking to silence them as well.

“We will not be silenced,” she said. “Because while pro-abortion ideologues spin false narratives to suit their political agenda, we are seeing the consequences of their lies every day in our emergency rooms. I have treated too many women with abortion complications, and seen too many patients devastated over the baby’s loss to abortion that they never got to meet. In this post-Roe America, you can rest assured that pro-life physicians will not acquiesce to the demands of pro-abortion interests. We refuse to lie to our patients. We refuse to pretend that abortion is health care. And we refuse to stop advocating for every woman and preborn child to receive nothing less than the top quality, fully informed, life affirming health care that they deserve.”

Summer Smith

Smith is a college student at Liberty University, and the president of the campus Students for Life club. She explained that she got involved in the pro-life movement after learning that she had a sibling who was aborted. “My heart aches for what she went through,” she said of her mother, adding that she had felt “afraid and alone.”

“There are women around the globe who still feel that exact same way,” she said. “The answer lies in helping them, and giving them the support that they need in that moment… we have to support women in need now more than ever.”

Gina Tomes

Founder of Bethlehem House, a maternity home and pregnancy resource center, Tomes said organizations like hers need support more than ever. “The women we are serving are facing big barriers, such as homelessness, poverty, addiction, abuse of every kind, and lack family support,” she said, yet they still choose to say yes to life.

“Our residents are turning their lives around, breaking down barriers, setting new life goals that once seemed impossible,” she continued, adding, “It is love that will heal our culture and bring us together. And lastly, to all the women who have sought help and hope from maternity homes across the nation: you are our heroes. And we promise you, to continue to walk with you through life.”

Sister Mary Casey and Casey Gunning

Sister Mary Casey and sister (Screenshot EWTN)

Gunning, who has Down syndrome, appeared with her twin sister, Sister Mary Casey, of Sisters for Life.

“I love my life,” Gunning said. “I went to college, and I worked in a daycare center for 10 years. I’m a gold medalist in Special Olympics: skiing, swimming, and bowling. You should see me throw those strikes! I have an awesome life, a great family, and a very busy social life. I have Down syndrome, but Down syndrome does not define me. I’m defined by God. God put a price tag on every life, and He says, we are all priceless. Born and unborn, disability or not, we are all priceless.”

Sister Mary asked Gunning what she wanted women pregnant with children with Down syndrome to know.

“Your child will be a blessing to you, and to the world,” she responded. “And you will be the perfect mom. And God bless you, on behalf of all people with Down syndrome, especially those whose lives are threatened in the womb. America, we need you, and you need us!”

Gianna Emanuela Molla

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was the mother of Gianna Emanuela Molla, as well as a doctor. St. Gianna was encouraged to have an abortion when she became ill while pregnant with Gianna, but refused; after giving birth, St. Gianna died several days later. Her daughter still speaks about her today, continuing her legacy and encouraging others to follow her mother in protecting life.

Gianna became a doctor like her mother, and spoke at the rally about her mother’s legacy. “I would not be here today if I were not so loved. The gift of life is truly the greatest, the most precious, and the most sacred gift we always have to honor, respect, and defend.”

Jonathan Roumie

Actor Jonathan Roumie (Screenshot EWTN)

Roumie stars as Jesus in the TV show “The Chosen,” and his speech closed out the rally.

“History has been made. Life has triumphed in an extraordinary way,” he said. “And the light of the world, who is Jesus Christ, the author of life, His light has burned so very brightly within each and every one of you, irrespective of your specific beliefs, compelling you forward for one reason or another to stand together today and fight the noblest and worthiest cause possible, which is to allow the unborn the right to enter into the world, and defeat those earthly forces which wish to destroy the very evidence of them.”

He urged pro-lifers to continue the fight for life.

“[Satan] is not about to give up this fight, either. In fact, he is doubling down, because guess what? His time is limited. So he’s throwing everything he has at the world and everyone in it… he wants us to believe that abortion does not harm us, individually and as a society, so please, I beg of you: pray for those who do not have the faith, the strength, the clarity of purpose, that you here do.”

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 moms and dads with the truth about abortion this year? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

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