“The Illinois abortion industry and their friends in the legislature are working to make Illinois the ‘abortion capital of the Midwest,’” March for Life Chicago Director Kevin Grillot told CNA. “Most recently, Parental Notification was repealed, which has dire implications not only for Illinois, but also in neighboring states.”
March for Life Chicago points to polling that found that 72% of Illinois voters support parental notification for minor girls seeking abortion. According to Grillot, March for Life Chicago plans to take action.
“During the past 24 months the March for Life Chicago network has tripled, and a new life advocacy mobilization program is set to be unveiled at the Midwest’s largest pro-life gathering,” he said of the Jan. 8 event. “While the llinois abortion lobby and legislators promote abortion and further separate parents from their children, pro-lifers from across the Midwest are uniting to march in Chicago to Save Midwestern Lives.”
When and where is the Chicago march?
The outdoor rally on Jan. 8 begins at 1 p.m. at Federal Plaza (50 W. Adams) in downtown Chicago. Immediately following the rally, marchers will walk 1.2 miles to the Hilton hotel (720 S. Michigan Ave.), where the March for Life Chicago convention is located.
The convention doors open at 8 a.m. on Jan. 8. The convention includes a youth rally by the Archdiocese of Chicago, educational sessions, a Catholic Mass for Life, a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod prayer event, and a banquet and cocktail hour featuring Catholic guests such as Bishops Mark Bartosic and Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There will also be a diaper drive.
Who is speaking at the march rally?
Nine rally speakers are listed online: Republican Rep. Avery Bourne of Illinois; Kelly Dore, founder of the National Human Trafficking Survivor Coalition and director of Sierra Cares Foundation; Pastor Chris Butler, senior pastor of Chicago Embassy Church and executive leader of the AND Campaign; Sister Alicia Torres of the Franciscans of the Eucharist in Chicago; Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; Dante Bucci, weDignify student leader and senior at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Kevin Grillot, executive director of weDignify, which oversees the March for Life Chicago, and a client from Aid for Women, a Chicago-based pregnancy resource network.
Does COVID-19 impact the march?
March for Life Chicago is “the first large group to obtain a permit for Federal Plaza since the pandemic began,” the organization says. Last year, during the pandemic, March for Life Chicago hit the road and hosted car rallies and processions in cities across the Midwest in a “Moving the Movement Tour.”
This year, according to March for Life Chicago, Illinois’ current mask mandate does not apply to outdoor events. Chicago’s proof of vaccination order also does not apply to the rally or march. However, the City of Chicago Departments of Public Health recommends marchers wear masks “whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.”
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Katie Yoder is a correspondent in CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She covers pro-life issues, the U.S. Catholic bishops, public policy, and Congress. She previously worked for Townhall.com, National Review, and the Media Research Center.