March for Life marks 51st anniversary in January: Here’s what to expect this year

March for Life signs - 7 Pro-life marchers carry a banner reading “Every baby is somebody’s grandchild” at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2023. | Credit: Katie Yoder/CNA

The 51st annual March for Life will kick off in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19 under the theme “With Every Woman, For Every Child.”

The March for Life, which calls itself the world’s “largest annual human rights demonstration,” takes place every year in January to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide. 

More than 60 million unborn children have been killed since the court’s ruling in Roe, which was finally overturned in June 2022 with the Supreme Court’s decision on the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the majority opinion in the case said.

The abortion landscape in the United States has dramatically changed since then and seems to be shifting almost by the day. As many states passed legislation to protect life, others have approved measures to fatally endanger the unborn.

At the announcement of the March’s theme in November, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said that “we hold that choosing life is empowering and that love saves lives.”

She said there is a “false narrative around abortion” that suggests the killing act is “empowering and necessary.” She added that this “fear-based messaging tries to convince women who are facing unexpected pregnancies that they’re alone, that they’re incapable, that they are ill-equipped to handle motherhood.”

A spokesperson for the March for Life told CNA Tuesday that “while there is no way of knowing ahead of time exactly how many will come, every year we expect tens of thousands to join us.”


Several speakers for the March for Life have already been announced, including Jean Marie Davis, a woman who runs a pregnancy resource center in Vermont and who is a former sex-trafficking victim.

Davis told “EWTN Pro-life Weekly” host Prudence Robertson in November that at one point she was homeless and living on the street with only $1.38 to survive.

It was through the support of a woman from a pregnancy resource center that she was able to escape sex trafficking and build a life for herself and her new son, Jonah.

Other speakers at the March for Life include former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson; Pastor Greg Laurie and Cathe Laurie; Antiochian Orthodox Bishop John Abdalah of the Diocese of Worcester and New England; Aisha Taylor, a pro-life author who speaks about her experience choosing life despite being pressured to abort her twins; Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; Mancini; Christian musician Danny Gokey; and Antonio Carlos Tavares de Mello, who runs an organization that cares for abandoned children, many disabled from botched abortion attempts.

The schedule

The March for Life is a three-day event starting on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Wednesday, Jan. 17:

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The March for Life Expo will be held at the Westin D.C. Downtown Hotel and is free to attend for all marchers.

The day is an opportunity for participants to connect with other marchers, visit different booths run by pro-life organizations, and volunteer with certain pro-life ministries.

The Expo will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Rock Creek Ballroom, on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the same place, and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 18:

On Thursday, attendees can participate in a free workshop on how to engage in pro-life lobbying of one’s elected representatives. Marchers will also hear from a panel of “top pro-life lobbyists and policy experts.” To register for the workshop, visit the March for Life website here.

On Thursday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, is hosting its annual Life is VERY Good event for high schoolers from across the country. The event, featuring inspirational speakers, music, and prayer, is open to all. The venue is at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax County on the campus of George Mason University. That’s about a 35-minute drive from Washington, D.C.

Friday, Jan. 19:

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March for Life participants are invited to attend “Life Fest” before the march on Friday. Sponsored by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus, the event begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. 

Life Fest is a morning of worship with Mass, music, and testimonies at the D.C. Armory. Among this year’s speakers are Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Monsignor James Shea, president of the University of Mary; and several Sisters of Life.

Participants can register and purchase tickets for the event here.

Also on Friday morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Life is VERY Good event, sponsored by the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, will take place in Fairfax, Virginia. The event includes a morning rally with speakers Chris Stefanick and Katie McGrady, along with Mass.

The March for Life begins with a pro-life rally at noon on the National Mall featuring pro-life speeches. The rally includes a free live concert, which will be livestreamed on the March for Life website, Facebook, and YouTube channel.

Participants will begin marching at about 1 p.m. starting between 12th and 14th Streets, NW, heading up Constitution Ave., and ending at the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.

Following the march, “Silent No More” will feature spoken testimonies outside the Supreme Court, which is located next to the Capitol building.

On Friday night, participants have the opportunity to attend the annual Rose Dinner Gala through the purchase of a ticket.

The keynote speaker will be Benjamin Watson, the former NFL player and author of the recently released pro-life book “The New Fight for Life.”

This article has been updated.

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