The president of the March for Life says this year’s annual march is especially built around the theme of “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand in Hand” to counter the “war on women” rhetoric that will likely be heard from Democrat 2016 contender Hillary Clinton and her supporters this year.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said, “We’re going to be hearing a lot this year about different messages related to women and the life issues…and we’ve certainly been hearing a lot about this for the last few years – the so-called ‘war on women’ rhetoric, etc.”
— H. (@hrnchnerner) January 20, 2016
“The March for Life in a way is a springboard for educating about the most pressing needs because we have a captive audience both on TV and then in person,” she continues. It’s a beautiful opportunity to put the experts in front of the crowd and in front of the TV about the most important issues, so I think having a good understanding of the fact that to be pro-woman is to be pro-life is probably one of the most important things in terms of the year ahead.”
Mancini says pro-life activists have received much encouragement this past year. A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll released this week found a full 81 percent of Americans favor some restrictions on abortion – including limiting the procedure after the first three months – and a continued ban on public funding of abortion.
In the survey of 1,700 Americans, even 66 percent of respondents who identify themselves as pro-choice say “abortion should be allowed, at most, in the first trimester, in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, or never permitted.”
— Jeanne F. Mancini (@jeannemfl) January 20, 2016
On the legislative front, while Congress continued to fund Planned Parenthood through most of 2016 in the omnibus budget bill, both chambers voted to eliminate the organization’s taxpayer funding in a separate measure – which President Barack Obama vetoed – earlier this month.
Mancini says many Americans had their eyes opened last summer by the Planned Parenthood videos that exposed the abortion business’ apparent practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies on the open market, and altering the position of babies during the abortion procedure in order to harvest the most intact organs.
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) January 20, 2016
“So, there’s a lot of work ahead still as we continue to bring it to the light – the things that happen behind closed doors – that’s really stirred up the hearts of people who weren’t necessarily involved in the issue previously,” Mancini said. “We have a few different angles that are motivating people to come to the march this year.”
The March for Life organization has invited as its main rally speaker Carly Fiorina, a 2016 GOP candidate who will not – according to Mancini – speak at the rally as a candidate.
“Carly Fiorina has been invited to speak at the rally – not wearing her candidate hat,” Mancini stresses. “She won’t be speaking to her candidacy, but she’s going to be speaking to the theme.”
“Carly has been really great on this issue for awhile and she worked closely with the March for Life a few years ago when we had a women’s conference and was our keynote speaker then,” she adds. “And this was way before a presidential run was at least publicly announced – but I had no clue that that was coming.”
Mancini states Fiorina has been “incredibly courageous” in her outspoken support for the pro-life message.
“She has done a fantastic job on the public stage this year and I think she really embodies the theme very much,” she explains.
“We are going to be hearing most likely from another candidate this year who’s a woman, and her messaging is going to be very, very different than what we’re going to hear from Carly on this,” Mancini observes, referring to Hillary Clinton. “And, so, I think it’s kind of attractive and necessary and it’s sort of a balm to our soul in a good way to hear a woman speak in such an authentic way about what it means to be pro-life.”
Rep. Diane Black and Dr. Charmaine Yoest: Abortion Is Not Female Empowerment https://t.co/8AhJgul6A7 | TIME
— Insights (@insights_db) January 20, 2016
Mancini pointed out as well that Sen. Joni Ernst – who spearheaded the first Senate legislation to defund Planned Parenthood – will also be a speaker at the March for Life rally.
In the days ahead following the march, Mancini said she hopes ANDA – the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act – will be addressed by Congress.
“It is really important in this year ahead, because there are hospitals – Catholic hospitals – that are being forced to do abortions right now in California – or, to pay for them,” she explains. “Different things are happening right now where Catholics and other pro-lifers are being discriminated against in a really abhorrent way, and it hasn’t been on others’ radar.”
The March for Life in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration on January 22, 1974, the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, and has been held every year since on that date. It rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world.
The March for Life also runs a digital campaign that uses a social media dashboard and invites members of the pro-life community to tell their stories about why they march for life.
Breitbart will provide a live stream of the March.