Students from universities and high schools from across the country gathered in Washington on Jan. 22 for the 37th annual “March for Life,” conducted each year on the anniversary of U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion decision. The Ignatian Pro-Life Network hosted events that included students from Boston College, Georgetown, Marquette University and Saint Louis University. Organizers say more than 100,000 participated in the Washington march this year. The day before youths from across the country lined up outside the Verizon Center to get inside the annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, forming a crowd of 17,400 people. Other events were held around the nation. A group estimated by organizers at about 35,000 took to the streets of San Francisco on Jan. 23 in the sixth annual Walk for Life West Coast. Frank Lee, coordinator of Asian Americans Pro-Life, led the rally, conducted along the city's waterfront, in a prayer at the start. "Every life is precious and should be cherished," he said. "We have a tough battle in front of us, but we shall overcome when we combine our efforts to make it a perfect whole!"
In Topeka, Kan., pro-lifers held their own March for Life Jan. 22, and in Texas, the Archdiocese of San Antonio started activities on Jan. 23 with a Mass celebrated by San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu, followed by a 90-minute rosary procession to a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city. Participants then boarded buses bound for the state capital, Austin, for a second pro-life rally. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, the archdiocesan Respect Life Office counted 40 parishes and parish clusters involved with prayers or other activities connected to the pro-life cause. For those who chose not to partake in activities in person, Americans United for Life offered a chance to take part in a "virtual" march. "Choose an avatar for yourself and then we will place 'you' in front of the U.S. Capitol building alongside other Americans marching online," said the organization's Web site.