Look at this little right to life warrior, Lillian Stapleton, my bodyguard to keep me out of trouble as I would talk to interesting people I met along the way. She has the most instructive placard among the thousands who marched……detailing many of the resources for health care and healing available for the woman who chooses life, either overcoming the temptation to abort or recovering from the guilt and remorse of Post Abortion Syndrome (https://thelifeinstitute.net/learning-centre/abortion-effects/post-abortion-syndrome).........Project Rachel, Adoption Services, Parenting Classes, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Grants for Single Moms, Gabriel Project)……love them both: baby and mother too. Not mentioned is maternity homes for homeless mothers.
Last year we were thinking: “This might be our last March For Life in Washington D.C. After all it looked as though the notorious January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade Decision, legalizing abortion on demand in every state of our country, would be repealed by the Conservative majority of today’s Supreme Court.” During that period of universal abortion rights, over 63 million babies lost their lives. Thank God; the repeal happened……on June 24, 2022, the feast of the Sacred Heart.
Think again. We’re back for the 50th March For Life two days before the 50th anniversary of its founding by Nellie Gray. We continue to march for life, which will continue to be the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world. If anything, the battle for life is more intense.
The current administration through executive orders is doing all it can to promote the so called “right to choose”, i.e., for a right of the woman to play God and decide whether her unborn baby should live or die. The only real choice was made in the bedroom.
The Administration is also pushing for abortifacients to be made available in local drug stores everywhere, effectively making the corner drug store an abortion clinic with no medical oversight. Already pro-life forces are protesting that practice in CVS and Walgreens.
The pro-abortion camp is mobilizing its forces, especially at the state level. Abortion states such as California, Illinois, and New York are offering sanctuary often with all expenses paid for women who cannot obtain an abortion in their own right to life states. Pro-abortion members of Congress are waiting for the opportunity to pass the so called "Women's Protection Act" which would codify Roe v. Wade and nullify the pro-life laws of pro-life states. Therefore, we continue to march and carry the banner for life.
As in antebellum America when we had slave states and free states, we now have abortion states and right to life states. National Right to Life will continue to have the annual March For Life Washington D.C., but we’ll also have marches and promotions at the state level. We recently had one in Columbus. On the same weekend as the Washington March, there was March For Life West in both Los Angeles and liberal San Francisco.
Our gang is off the bus, a stone’s throw from the Washington Monument, and ready to march…….from old men to babies in their strollers. Babies….that’s what this march is all about: babies, the survival of babies in the womb.
In previous years we would charter a bus and use a motel in Maryland or south of Washington. That involved a commuter train ride to the March and another train ride to meet the bus that would take us home. However, the last two years were so much easier. Tim Stapleton and his family of 8 kids befriended the Bernard family of 8 kids at Catholic Familyland just north of Steubenville…..a perfect match. They invited us to stay in Sterling, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington. The next morning we assisted at Mass and had Eucharistic Adoration with Rosary. Then we rode on buses chartered by the local Knights of Columbus council to the March. It was great fellowship! Knights of the surrounding area worked as marshals and provided signs. Individual councils sponsored marchers.
It was such a joy to ride in the Stapleton van to Washington with their kids. The boys sat quietly in the back, but little Lucia and Lillian sat beside me and chattered the whole way…..verifying the textbook answers on the differences between little girls and little boys. The girls wouldn’t let me alone with their incessant questions and teasing. There was no nap time for me except when they took a brief nap.
Returning home I rode with the Lewis family of nine kids. Scott was raised Baptist and now is a gung ho Catholic. Bernadette drove a good part of the way home. Sitting beside me were Colby (9) and Gianna (7). Except at the beginning, they were too tired to keep me busy. We all slept as Gianna and I took turns using each other’s heads as pillows.
After Jaga and I had our fourth kid, one colleague snickered: “All those Catholics know how to do is have kids”. Each birth for both Chrissy and Bernadette involved great sacrifice. With number 8, Chrissy almost lost her baby and her own life as well due to complications. Bernadette undergoes severe postpartum anxiety with each birth. Both of them would even trade their own lives for the lives of their babies without hesitation as St. Gianna (an M.D.) indeed did. Both of them seem to get younger and more beautiful with each birth. And to boot they home school their kids.
At the march we waited on the fringes of the crowd listening to the many speeches of the pro-life rally. Tony Dungy, Hall of Fame and former Super Bowl coach of the Indianapolis Colts gave a beautiful talk and so did Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays the role of Jesus in the TV series “The Chosen”. See
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVHl_jFWVII&t=11s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYY2-wf-cl0. The complete texts are in the Appendix. Lora Dungy gave an excellent case for adoption instead of abortion.
This March is all about babies and we certainly brought them…….17 kids for a total of 23 counting parents and two tag alongs (Mike and me) plus the Bernard 10 and thousands of others. These kids were a fabulous witness to life because their mothers chose life. Their beautiful innocence and cuteness was a vivid testimony to life. They were so well behaved going, marching, and coming home.
Mike Stapleton was supposed to be my “body guard” to make sure I did not get “lost” as I once did several years ago because of a miscommunication as where to meet after the March. Actually we were on opposite sides of the street in front of the Supreme Court building, but did not see each other. I prayed, but did consider taking a Greyhound Bus home as a last resort, but thank God we found each other. However, Mike got busy holding one of his nieces. So little Lucia and Lillian were holding my hands, one on each side. Chrissy, their mother pushing a stroller with two of her babies, made sure that all three of us were within her sight. At Eucharistic Adoration Lillian came to my side like a little angel. I was touched.
Last year, this year, and every year we’re on the march past the Supreme Court building. Last year it was anticipation. This year it’s gratitude that the Supreme Court finally got it right. But the fight continues on the state level as a liberal administration in Washington tries to maintain abortion via the back door by executive order and promotion. See video links: https://youtu.be/WweyUYD_8CY, https://youtu.be/qY_wLI-Mw5w, and https://youtu.be/_TStArEdOFA.
The same as last year the atmosphere was hopeful and peaceful. This year the mood was also victorious in the battle for the Supreme Court which ruled in our favor. But we were cautious about the outcome of the war for the hearts and minds of the people, which is by no means over and continues on.
Among the marchers were kids from high schools and colleges. Notre Dame sent 10 busloads; Franciscan University of Steubenville sent eight buses. There were groups from Thomas Aquinas College East, Christendom College, Catholic U., Boston College, St. Mary’s Seminary, etc. There were many seminarians, priests, religious, such as the Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of Life. Sister Mary Casey brought her twin Down Syndrome sister Casey.
Present was a group of obstetricians for life. It behooves Catholic women to patronize pro-life obstetricians when pregnant. They care for both mother and baby. The President of the Association of Obgyn Doctors (7,000 members) revealed that she has had to treat many women with abortion complications……both physical and mental. More than half of abortions are medical, not surgical. Medical abortions entail four times the risk of surgical abortions. There is even an Abortion Survivors Network…..those who have survived botched abortions and now live as productive adults. There are 1,734 abortion survivors.
St. Gianna's daughter thanked her mother for sacrificing her own life so that she may live through birth. Jean Mancini, the President of Right to Life, advocated that we must make abortion unthinkable.
Rick Santorum, former senator and presidential candidate, said that with the repeal of Roe the battle is now for the hearts and minds of people in the schools and state capitols.
The rally before the march
And of course there were counter protesters as well…..a loud group in front of the Supreme Court building. Another group had a gigantic sign telling young single women that not choosing abortion destroys their college education and careers. The many girls who chose life do not regret their decision. God provided and many if not most had successful careers. Women often do regret their abortions for the rest of their lives…..very much. There was a heavy police presence in case of trouble.
Touching was the presence of an army veteran above doing his part in his wheelchair. Nothing would keep that man down.
I also met an ecumenical group of Byzantine Rite Catholics and Greek Orthodox (may they be one in the Catholic Church some day). One of them was dispensing incense from his parish church’s censer. This was unusual for a right to life march, but really quite appropriate. After all, coming to his march was really a pilgrimage and people should be praying during the march. The incense symbolizes prayers rising up to the throne of God.
Before the repeal, pro-life marchers chanted: “Hey hey ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go”. Since that prayer was answered, today the times have changed it to “Hey hey ho ho, abortion has got to go”. Who has the right to frustrate God's most awesome creation?
Let us close with the words of the recently deceased Pope Benedict XVI; “Our life does not exist by accident; it is not an accident. My life is willed by God from eternity. I am loved; I am necessary. God has a plan specifically for me. Eternal love has created me in profundity and awaits me.” And so it happened. Since 1973 over 63 million babies in the United States alone were not allowed to fulfill the intent of God our creator because parents determined it so by the so called right to choose.
For some excellent photos, go to
https://www.npr.org/2023/01/20/1150276020/march-for-life-post-roe-anti-abortion-activists. Furthermore, much of the 2023 March For Life Washington, D.C. speeches and the march itself can be found on youtube.com at
See the appendix for more……pro-life church bulletin blurbs, contents of placards, etc. Thanks to Chrissy Stapleton for her help in taking some great photos and she did it while pushing a stroller and keeping an eye on her other seven children.
Text of Tony Dungy's Talk
Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2023 / 15:25 pm
Former head coach and NFL analyst Tony Dungy told a crowd gathered at Friday’s March for Life that the answer to the tragedy of abortion is prayer, calling to mind Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the football field and what happens when a nation turns to God.
“It’s amazing to me that God actually used football to shine some light on the subject of life for all of us,” Dungy said.
Buffalo Bills safety Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Jan. 2 Monday Night Football game after a routine hit. He then suffered cardiac arrest as players stood by in horror.
“It could have been tragic, but something miraculous happened. The team medical staff rushed out and they got Damar’s heart started again. But you know what? That wasn’t a miracle. The real miracle was the reaction.”
“The announcers on the broadcast, what did they say? ‘All we can do is pray,’” Dungy said.
“And all across the country, people started praying,” he said.
The former football coach, who has faced some backlash on social media for his involvement with the March for Life, told the crowd that the country’s prayerful reaction to Hamlin’s collapse was striking in that the NFL has actively prevented praying on the field in the past.
“The Bills players prayed right on the spot. Now usually when that happens, the cameras cut away from them. Because we don’t like to see that,” Dungy said.
“Back when I was coaching in the 1990s, a few Christian players got together and they said we want to pray after the games. And we actually got a memo from the NFL office that said, ‘Don’t let your players do that. If you do, you’ll be fined. Because that’s not appropriate.’ Can you believe that? That’s a true story,” Dungy said.
“But three weeks ago, everybody on that field was praying. And they continued the next week at every stadium and the NFL teams got together and prayed and it was amazing. Well, those prayers were answered with Damar’s recovery. Now he’s home. He’s been released from the hospital,” he said.
Dungy, who spoke at the March for Life with his wife, Lauren, told the crowd that the nation needs to pray for the unborn in the same way they prayed for Damar Hamlin.
“Every day in this country, innocent lives are at stake. The only difference is they don’t belong to a famous athlete. And they’re not seen on national TV. But those lives are still important to God and in God’s eyes,” Dungy said.
“Psalm 139 tells us that God is watching every one of these young bodies as they’re growing in their mother’s womb, because he placed them there. Now we know that there are a lot of people in this country that don’t believe, that don’t see these babies as being important. They don’t even see them as lives,” he continued.
Dungy urged the crowd to pray for the unborn.
“I think we have to take a lesson from Damar’s story. We have to pray. We need to pray with the same fervor that we prayed with during that week. Because God answers prayer and he will answer these prayers to save these precious unborn lives as we go forward. So if we do our part, we will save more and more of these lives,“ Dungy said.
This was Dungy’s first appearance at the March for Life. After posting on social media that he was excited to take part, he received more than 28,000 likes on his post. He also received some backlash from proponents of abortion.
Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays the role of Jesus in the TV series “The Chosen,”
He approached the podium to roaring cheers from the crowd.
“God is real and he is completely in love with each and every one of you,” Roumie said.
“History has been made. Life has triumphed in an extraordinary way, and the light of world, who is Jesus Christ, the author of life, his light has burned so very brightly within each and every one of you, irrespective of your specific beliefs, compelling you forward for one reason or another to stand together today to fight for the worthiest and noblest cause possible — which is to allow the unborn the right to enter into the world, and defeat those earthly forces who seek to destroy the very evidence of them,” he added.
Roumie's full speech can be seen here. Seven interesting facts about the devout Catholic actor can be found here.
Pro-Life Church Bulletin Blurbs For Public Use
Our little unborn innocent, defenseless, and vulnerable baby citizens in the womb also have constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What about the baby’s health? Except for rape and incest, the choice was made in the bedroom. It's all about love and responsibility. When there is no desire to participate in the creation of a unique human being, the mother and father must face with responsibility the consequences of taking a risk (even with so called safe sex) in playing baby roulette, not to mention the immorality of sex outside of marriage. Society should help the mother in a crisis pregnancy and beyond when unable to care for the child. Love the mother; love the baby. Many couples eagerly desire to adopt unwanted babies. The repeal of Roe v Wade is the greatest victory for human rights since the repeal of the Dred Scott Decision which claimed slaves were only property thus legalizing slavery.
Science says that life begins at fertilization of the ovum by a sperm. Science says that the fetus is a developing human being. Science says that the baby in the womb from conception has the complete genetic makeup of a unique human being very different from the body of the mother whether the baby is wanted or unwanted. The womb is indeed part of the mother’s body, but the unique human being housed and protected in the womb is not Thank God that your mother chose life or you wouldn't be around. This is the greatest human rights issue since slavery. It is impossible to be a faithful Catholic and be pro-choice, a clear contradiction of Church teaching. May the womb always be a loving safe haven for the unique, vulnerable, innocent, and defenseless baby. Then mothers will never have to live with the terrible often life long guilt of killing her own child. Do you know a woman who is suffering from the very common post-abortion stress syndrome or post abortion depression? There is healing and forgiveness. Go to Project Rachel at hopeafterabortion.com
“Truly you have formed my innermost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. My soul also you knew full well; nor was my frame unknown to you. When I was made in secret, when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139). As a result of the intense love between a man and a woman, the development of a human being from fertilized ovum to birth is so beautiful and truly miraculous. That baby, created according to the image and likeness of God is the Lord’s most awesome creation……among those babies are future leaders, lawyers, inventors, scientists, engineers, technicians, builders, doctors, Olympic athletes, writers, musicians, artists, philosophers, scholars, teachers, Nobel Prize laureates, etc. For example, Steve Jobs, the Apple Computer founder and pioneer in Information Technology, was adopted. As an unborn baby, he could very easily have been aborted. What a gross insult to God to destroy and trash that magnificent creation be it after one month or full term! Can anyone claim a right to terminate (destroy, end) the life of her baby?
Is the Pro-Abortion movement a pseudo religion for some, a form of a zealous idol worship and human sacrifice to the gods of convenience, pleasure, and an undisciplined self-autonomy at the expense of the baby’s right to live? For the sake of a pseudo charitable concern for the mother there is a cold, brutal destruction of a live defenseless human baby, created according to the image and likeness of God…….His most magnificent creation. Can’t society love both mother and baby? Can’t society help them both? To live and let live! Abortion is the greatest human rights issue ever, including slavery. Then we had slave states and free states; today we have abortion states and pro-life states after the repeal of the notorious Roe v. Wade Decision. The battle continues. Join us for the MARCH FOR LIFE at 1 pm in Washington. Write Chrissy Stapleton firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 740-645-0142. You can also watch the March For Life on EWTN on Friday January 20 starting with speeches and testimonies at 9:30 am and the beautiful Mass for life in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception the evening before.at 5 pm.
A Mother Teresa quote: “If society allows a mother to kill her own baby, what will prevent people from killing each other. I will take any unwanted baby.”
The Creation of a Unique Human Being. A husband and his wife participate actively with God as His instruments in creating His greatest work and the baby is a product of their mutual love. How awesome is that? How magnificent and beautiful is God’s plan for us; if only we would follow it! Otherwise, there will be very negative natural consequences.
A mother is never more beautiful than when she is with child as God is knitting in her womb a magnificent highly complex human being made to the image and likeness of God created for eternity. Our awesome God has placed in the union of an ovum and a sperm --that becomes a unique one-- a highly complex code to set the miraculous process in motion in the womb, step by step, millions if not billions of often simultaneous steps, for the creation of a new and unique human being. It is inconceivable that man could ever create and write probably more than a billion lines of code to create a unique human being, not to mention an immortal soul……7.6 billion on earth. Each married couple then waits and observes the miraculous process of creation with awe.
Only a glob of tissue??????? and no divine ingenious creator???? How can anyone, even the most brilliant intellectual use twisted and even irrational reasoning to deny the hand of God and destroy (kill) God’s ingenious handiwork, the miracle of creation? Abortion is a grave affront against God and a blatant violation of the 5th Commandment. Imagine one million abortions in the United States and 63 million since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Decision and 60 million per year worldwide.
Today is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. The March For Life observes the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision legalizing abortion on January 22, 1973. During this time 63 million American babies were aborted (destroyed). Imagine one million abortions in the United States each year and 60 million per year world wide, 1.5 billion since 1980.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5).
For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(Ps. 139:13-16) (Catholic Version is Psalm 138:13-16)
Since today February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of the Sick, let us reflect a bit on the mystery and deep meaning of suffering, the lot of every human being sooner or later. The Lord allows trials and crosses for many reasons. Suffering and trials only make sense from the perspective of eternity. With a positive attitude the sick person becomes closer to God and can grow spiritually as a preparation for eternity since their purgatory is here. Suffering becomes a dynamic and very effective prayer when we unite our crosses with the Lord’s cross and offer it all up to God as a dynamic prayer and a sacrifice for the Church, the missions, for peace, for a better world, for our loved ones, etc. This is often referred to as redemptive suffering, which is very productive. That makes suffering more meaningful, more bearable, and productive with a purpose. St. Mother Theresa attributed her great success to thousands of sick people she asked to offer their crosses for her and her nuns. DON’T LET YOUR SUFFERING GO TO WASTE!
Contents of Placards at the 2023 March For Life
Eternal life but not Pro-life?
The Post Roe Generation
Our babies’ birth moms chose life.
Love them both!
God is pro-life!
Love life; choose life! (KofC)
Child sacrifice is not welcome here.
Abortion lies…..Abortion is not health care.
It’s a child, not a choice.
Love will end abortion.
Roe be gone!
Black babies matter!
Every baby deserves to live, no matter how small.
The choice is made when the panties slide down.
Life is a human right.
I am the Pro-life Generation.
I am the Post Roe Generation.
Make America Pro-life again.
I demand equal protection for unborn babies!
Child sacrifice is not health care!
Elige la vida!
I am God’s child.
Everybody is somebody’s grandchild.
The Miraculous Creation of a Baby in the Womb
Week #3 Fetal heartbeat begins.
Week #7 Hands and feet begin to form. Essential organs begin to form.
Week #8 Fingers and toes are visible. The eye lids are formed.
Week #10 Fingernails form.
Week #11 The baby can kick, stretch, and hiccup.
Week #12 Reflexes and nerve cells develop.
Week #13 Fingerprints form. The arms and legs have joints. Female babies have 2 million eggs in their ovaries.
Week #14 The body produces urine.
Week #17 Sweat glands begin to develop.
Week #18 The baby can hear.
Week #20 The baby can feel pain.
Week #22 The baby can survive with proper care.
Week #31 The baby can move his/her head to the side.
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