Unborn babies are not as visible and well-known as famous athletes, Dungy said, but “those lives are still important to God, in God’s eyes.”
Saving their lives is “not the end of the story,” though — mothers and babies need our help, he said. Dungy’s wife, Lauren, took the stage and spoke about their adoption experience alongside the couple’s now 21-year-old daughter.
“We are talking about lives,” Lauren Dungy said. “We need to pray for every woman who is in this situation ... we have to pray that we have enough adoptive families to pray for these precious lives.”
Summer Smith, a student at Liberty University, spoke about the importance of supporting women in need, especially at crisis pregnancy centers.
“For me, being pro-life is personal,” she said, relaying the story of how she found out that one of her own siblings was aborted.
“Speak up about abortion in your family, your friend group, and on your campus. And speak up with love,” Smith said. “Our faith must be well-reasoned and well-informed.”
Several lawmakers spoke as well. State Rep. Trenee McGee (D-Connecticut), a leading pro-life Democrat, took the stage to decry what she called the “systemically racist abortion industry” and passionately encouraged the crowd to advocate for policies that “not only protect life, but sustain life.”
“Pro-life for the whole life, baby,” she proclaimed, to loud applause.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, urged those gathered to vote to support pro-life candidates and lawmakers.
“We ought to continue to march. You know how much is at stake,” Scalise said.
Another member of Congress, Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), said he attended the first March for Life in 1974.
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“This rally stirs us all to prayer and hard work, and inspires us to do more and more and more in defense of life,” Smith said.
Smith also decried the continued instances of violence and intimidation against pro-life entities that have taken place since the Dobbs decision, and said they have heard merely “crickets” from the Justice Department in terms of arrests and prosecutions of the many documented crimes against pro-lifers.
Smith said the legality of abortion throughout pregnancy, as many states still allow, is a “barbaric” outlier on the world stage. He encouraged all those in attendance to continue to pray and advocate for an end to abortion.
“The injustice of abortion need not be forever, and because of you, it won’t be. God bless you,” Smith concluded.
The speeches even included one from the daughter of a canonized saint, St. Gianna Beretta Molla. Molla, a doctor, became ill while pregnant with her fourth child and was encouraged to abort the baby in an attempt to save her own life. Molla chose life and passed away a few days after giving birth. In 1962, she died at 39 years old.
“I would not be here with all of you, if I had not been loved so much!” the saint’s daughter, Gianna Emanuela Molla, who is also a medical doctor, told the crowd.