The 48th annual March for Life took place Friday almost entirely virtually because of concerns about the coronavirus, as the pro-life movement prepares for the Biden presidency.
Pro-life leaders told the Washington Free Beacon, during a brief in-person gathering outside the Supreme Court, that a major priority for the next four years is moving beyond political issues to push for cultural changes. March for Life president Jeanne Mancini stressed the need for education and grassroots activism.
"Our work isn't necessarily about an administration. If you have a friendly administration, that's great. But we're here for the long run," she said. "We've been here in hostile administrations, we've been here in friendly administrations. We'll keep marching until abortion is unthinkable."
Marjorie Dannenfelser pointed to the growth of pro-life education efforts by the Susan B. Anthony List, where she is president.
"We're working very hard to cast a vision based in reality of what pro-life America looks like," she said. "Going state to state, we're doing this in Georgia now, and doing a full inventory of every single potential service that can help a woman and her unborn child in the first two years of life. It includes pregnancy centers but a whole lot more."
The March for Life drew increased media attention in 2020 because of former President Donald Trump's attendance, marking the first time a president has addressed the event in person. Even with the White House's support, though, statistics showed a slight increase in the abortion rate during the first two years of his term. And the Biden administration has already begun to take executive action to roll back restrictions on federal support for abortion, such as rescinding the Mexico City Policy.
Mancini complimented the Trump administration's moves and said the pro-life movement made lasting strides—even in the face of a new administration favorable to abortion rights.
"There were all sorts of other policy strides. Some of them, as we saw even yesterday, will be rescinded in this administration," Mancini said. "We saw the president and the vice president come to the March for Life. We'd never had that level of a White House presence before."
The virtual event featured Rep. Kat Cammack (R., Fla.), who spoke about her mother's experience with an abortion recommendation. Two Democratic state officials, Mike Gabbard (Hawaii) and Angie Hatton (Kentucky) offered bipartisan support for the movement, and the event was capped off with a speech from former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who spoke about the importance of religion and the pro-life movement in his own life.
Dannenfelser suggested that the next step for the movement could be more pro-child policies that move beyond abortion bans.
"I think a child tax credit is a fantastic idea," she said. "It makes it easier to welcome new life into the world without question, and we hope it will pass."