American Lutherans March for Life
WASHINGTON – Despite forecasts warning of imminent blizzards, thousands of people descended on Washington, D.C. January 22, 2016 to take part in the annual March for Life. The March for Life is the largest pro-life rally in the world, and draws attention to the millions of children who have lost their lives to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.
This year’s parade saw members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) leed the march through the streets of Washington. Lutheran participants—with their distinctive green toques—could be heard singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and other hymns as they led the procession. Prior to the march, Lutherans gathered at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia for Divine Worship.
This year also saw a strong showing from Evangelicals, the first time they have had formal involvement in the event. The vast majority of participants in the annual March for Life are Roman Catholic.
Attendance at this year’s event was hampered by predictions of major snowstorms—storms which have brought much of the eastern United States’ infrastructure to a halt. Even so, nearly fifty thousand people participated in this year’s March for Life. The 2015 march saw an estimated 800,000 people in attendance.
There are signs that the annual March for Life and other pro-life activities are having an effect on wider American culture. The number of abortions taking place in the United States is estimated to be about 1 million per year, a significant drop from 1989’s peak of 1.6 million abortions.
Canada’s March for Life takes place later this year on May 12, 2016 in Ottawa. Organizers estimate 25,000 people took part in the 2015 march. A Lutheran contingent, led by Lutherans for Life-Canada, had 30 participants in 2015.