The pro-life generation: Upcoming March for Life to be a celebration of pro-life unity

This year’s March for Life promises to be a celebration like no other.

Morgan Rosand, Program Director for the Respect Life Office at Catholic Charities, said that her office is working hard to make the march and event of hope and joy.

“Really, it’s just going to be a dramatic show of joyful unity,” Rosand said.

Rosand said that according to police estimates, last year’s March had 5,000 people. She said that’s the biggest turnout Denver has ever seen. However, this year, they hope to have even more.

One way they hope to increase numbers is by increasing the Catholic presence. Last year’s march included a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica at the Immaculate Conception. This year, however, will have three separate Masses at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Holy Ghost and the Cathedral, all located in downtown Denver. After Mass, the participants will walk to the Capitol. Volunteers will be stationed throughout downtown to hand out positive pro-life signs to the marchers.

Rosand said she is eagerly anticipating the site of so many people converging on the capitol for the pro-life cause. She said she thinks it will provide a powerful visual of the pro-life cause in the Rocky Mountains.

“We want to send a message that is positive, life-affirming and shows concretely that there’s a stronghold in the Rocky Mountain region that values life. We’re here. We’re here to stay,” Rosand said.

Rosand said that the March can help the marchers, as well.

“The deepest longing of our hearts is unity. Something that’s really special about the Mass and the events is it’s an opportunity to know in a big way that we are not alone. In our respective vocations and missions, we are all fighting the good fight for life,” Rosand said.

For those who are homebound or unable to march, Rosand still urged participation.

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Rosand said that police estimates put last year’s March for Life at around 5,000 people. She hopes to beat that record this year.

“Prayer is not limited by time or space, so join us. Visit an Adoration chapel, say a rosary or a divine mercy chaplet; let’s just all come together,” Rosand said.

This year’s event will not focus exclusively on pre-born children, but on all stages of life. According to the March for Life website, http://liferockymountains.org/ , the March will celebrate life “in all of its ages and stages.”

“The overall message is celebrating life in all its ages and in all its stages. From the child in the womb to the pregnant mother to the homeless to the dying in hopice to the trafficked–all have dignity,” Rosand said.

Rosand is also hopeful that there will be a strong youth and young adult contingent at the March. There will be a youth rally for middle and high school students at Bishop Machbeuf High School on Jan. 15 from 6-9 p.m. In addition to students from local colleges and universities attending, Wyoming Catholic College is sending 125-150 college students to help with the rally and March.

Rosand said she hopes the presence of young people will send a message about the longevity of the Pro-Life cause.

“It goes back to hope. There is new life coming. We are the pro-life generation. New leaders are coming to take up the torch,” Rosand said.

As for the overall tone of the March, Rosand said that it will be “positive, life-giving and joyful.” She said she also hopes it serves as a kick-off for participants to spread hope and joy in pro-life ministries throughout the year.

“While it’s important to come together as a community, it doesn’t end Jan. 16 when we do the final loop around the Capitol,” Rosand said.

For more information, including a full schedule of events and a detailed parking map, go to liferockymountains.org.

COMING UP: Care for Her Act: A common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies

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The pro-life community is often accused of only being pro-birth; however, a congressman from Nebraska is seeking to not only bring more visibility to the countless organizations which provide care for women experiencing crisis pregnancies through birth and beyond, but to also imitate that care at the federal level and enshrine it into law.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R), who serves the first congressional district in Nebraska, is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill that’s been in the works since last year. The overall goal of the bill is to “[commit] to care for that journey of life through a complementary set of services whereby the government makes a decided choice on behalf of the life of the unborn child and meeting the needs of the expectant mother,” Rep. Fortenberry told the Denver Catholic.

The Care For Act seeks to accomplish this through four basic provisions: A $3,600 tax credit for unborn children which would apply retroactively after the child is born, in addition to the existing tax credit for children; a comprehensive assessment and cataloguing of the programs and resources that are available to expectant mothers; providing federal grants to advance maternal housing, job training mentorships and other educational opportunities for expectant mothers; and lastly, offering financial incentives to communities that improve maternal and child health outcomes.

The Biden Administration recently indicated that they’ll be removing the Hyde Amendment in next year’s budget, which has historically been in place to prohibit pubic funds from going to abortions. The Care for Her Act would circumvent this to some degree, and it would also test whether Rep. Fortenberry’s dissenting colleagues who have in the past expressed that women should be cared for throughout their pregnancies and beyond are willing to stand by their words.

While the conversation around pregnancy and women’s health often centers around abortion, Rep. Fortenberry intentionally crafted the Care for Her Act to not be against abortion, per se, but rather for women and their babies.

“Abortion has caused such a deep wound in the soul of America,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “However, the flip side of this is not only what we are against, because it is so harmful, but what are we for? So many wonderful people throughout this country carry the burden of trying to be with women in that vulnerable moment where there is an unexpected pregnancy and show them the gift of what is possible for that child and for that woman. Let’s do that with government policy as well.”

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R) of Nebraska is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill which seeks to provide a community of care for women facing an unexpected pregnancy. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives)

Even The Washington Post has taken notice of the Care for Her Act. Earlier this year, Rep. Fortenberry introduced the idea to his constituents, and as to be expected, he received mixed feedback. Those who are pro-life were supportive of the idea, while those who support abortions were more apprehensive. Still others shared consternation about what the government ought to or ought not to do, expressing concern about what the Care for Her Act seeks to do.

“My response is, if we’re going to spend money, what is the most important thing? And in my mind, this is it,” Rep. Fortenberry said.

However, he was very encouraged by one response in particular, which for him really illustrates why this bill is so important and needed.

“One woman wrote me and said, ‘Jeff, I had an abortion when I was young. But if I had this complement of services and commitment of community around me, I would have made another decision,'” Rep. Fortenberry recalled. “And I said ‘yes.’ That’s why we are doing this. For her.”

So far, Rep. Fortenberry has been able to usher support from a number of women representatives on his side of the aisle. He is hopeful, though, that support could come from all sides of the political spectrum.

“Is it possible this could be bipartisan? I would certainly hope so, because it should transcend a political divide,” he explained. “We, of course, stand against abortion because it is so detrimental to women and obviously the unborn child. At the same time though, I think that others could join us who maybe don’t have the fullness of our perspective, who want to see the government actually make a choice on behalf of protecting that unborn life.”

Amidst the politically polarizing discussions about pregnancy and unborn life, the Care for Her act is a common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies. It offers women facing an unexpected pregnancy the chance to experience hope in a seemingly hopeless situation and make a life-giving decision for both herself and her child.

“I’m excited by this,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “I think it opens a whole new set of imaginative possibilities for America, a transformative ideal that again makes this moment of vulnerability when there is an unexpected pregnancy, our chance, our commitment as a community of care.”