WASHINGTON, District of Columbia — The 2023 March for Life will strike a new tone, as the 50th anniversary of the annual protest will be the first one after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Some changes will be made to adapt to where the pro-life fight remains, such as no longer marching to the U.S. Supreme Court but rather to the U.S. Capitol, where pro-lifers will call upon Congress to pass life-protecting legislation.
Another major focus will be on state capitals, as the overturn of Roe merely sent the issue back to legislatures rather than making the killing of unborn babies illegal across the country.
The enemy, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said at the 2023 theme reveal at the Heritage Foundation, is not just abortion but also “the lie that abortion is good for women.”
Along those lines, Jonathan Keller, the president and CEO of the California Family Council, said, “This country is responding to a culture that lies about what life is, about what love is.”
The official theme of the first post-Roe march is “Next Steps: Marching Forward in a Post-Roe America!” It is a theme designed to signify that the fight for life is “far from finished.”
On Jan. 20 we will celebrate the 50th March for Life & the momentous overturn of Roe v Wade! We’ll honor those who have gone before us making this historic victory possible, & we’ll present the strategic plan -the NEXT STEPS- for building a culture of life in this moment in time.
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) October 13, 2022
According to a press release, embarking on a new path, one that is the “next phase of building a culture of life,” is the new field of battle.
Maintaining the fight federally, with Congress, and expanding the fight at the state levels are two major goals of the March moving forward.
“First and foremost the fight does go to the States but for members of Congress and staff, future members of Congress and future staff, whether you’re in the audience or you’re watching online, it doesn’t mean you can give up the fight in the imperial city of Washington, DC,” Heritage Foundation President Dr. Kevin Roberts said.
Roberts also called for an institutional focus on expanding and building a pro-life culture in the United States.
“I can tell you as a historian of this country that there is not a single major public institution in this country that is pro-life,” he said. “And so it’s our job, especially it is our duty at Heritage — one of the institutions although a private one — to help rejuvenate American institutional life.”
It is “very important to be leaning into those institutions that are salvageable,” he continued, “and then also for those institutions that are too far gone, to kick them into either ocean and tell them ‘Goodbye.’”
But the institutions that need to be built are not just governmental or private-sector ones but also a society that champions the family and the community, Roberts argued.
“To go a little Aristotelian on you here is to build stronger families, stronger neighborhoods, stronger communities, and ultimately stronger cities, states and republics,” he said. “That’s the long view.”
Mancini reminded those in the movement that “our enemy is not Planned Parenthood, it’s not the abortion lobby, it’s not even pro-abortion politicians. Our enemy is the lie that abortion is good for women.”
Keller spoke further about the expansion of the movement into all 50 states, not that its focus is primarily on state legislatures.
“The culture of death is pervasive,” he began. “We cannot simply abandon blue states and retreat to red states.”
“You may not care about what happens in California, but California cares about you,” he said. “And yes, that is supposed to sound ominous because it is. Governor Gavin Newsom and our legislators in the state of California are not content to simply allow the rest of the country to become pro-life.”
“They are not content to allow even nationally — our nation — to become pro-life,” he continued. “They are fighting tooth-and-nail to preserve and even expand abortion through a beachhead in the state of California and in other blue states.”
Keller explained that California created something called the “Future of Abortion Council” in which the Golden State seeks to become the “abortion tourism destination for the entire country.”
One such measure passed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is the “abortion benevolence fund,” out of which California’s taxpayers fund out-of-state women seeking abortions to fly to California to get an abortion.
Mancini and others said that while the movement into the states will require greater resources, the movement cannot stop until abortion is ended across all 50 states.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.