After decades of thousands of marchers coming to Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life, this year’s event will be largely virtual on Jan. 29, but a small group of pro-life advocates will speak and march in the city at noon.

And with thousands of National Guard troops protecting the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the mob insurrection that resulted in five deaths, Metropolitan Police and city leaders are not taking any chances.

The theme for this year’s March for Life is “Together Strong: Life Unites,” which highlights the critical role each person plays in building a culture of life.

“We are thrilled to welcome this remarkable group of speakers to the world’s largest annual human rights demonstration,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, who will emcee the event. “These speakers will showcase that the strength of the pro-life movement is in its diversity. In a world marked by division, unrest, and fear, the pro-life movement brings together people from all walks of life, each with their unique mission to promote the inherent dignity of the human person.”

But Mancini is also discouraging the masses to come to D.C. In previous years, the event has been held to coincide with Jan. 22, 1973, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

“Because we are amid a pandemic which may be peaking, and given the heightened pressures that law enforcement officers and others are currently facing in and around the Capitol, this year’s March for Life will look different,” she said in a statement.

Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled on January 22, 1973, that the Constitution of the United States protected a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. It struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws and prompted an ongoing national debate that has been led by conservative and faith groups for half a century.

While African Americans from local churches have taken part in the marches for years, the event is primarily white in terms of participants.

Tim Tebow, a two-time national champion, first-round NFL draft pick, and Heisman Trophy winner, will give the virtual rally address on Jan. 29. Marchers will be addressed in person by retired NFL player Benjamin Watson and his wife Kirsten Watson, who are authors, speakers, podcasters, movie producers and parents of seven.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, and J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will also speak at the rally. The other speakers include Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., and Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham, will lead the opening and closing prayers.

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Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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