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March for Life returns to DC with new post-Roe v. Wade focus

This is the first time the March for Life has occurred since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Posted at 11:09 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 11:09:39-05

In just a few hours, the streets of Washington, D.C., will be filled with marchers. But instead of the protest we've seen every year at this time against the Supreme Court's 1973 decision to legalize abortion, it will mark a new chapter for the movement. 

"This year, I think there will be an extra celebration, some jubilation, that instead of recognizing the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we will be celebrating the first without it," said president of National Right to Life Carol Tobias.

It's the first time the March for Life has occurred since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June — sending the decision about legalizing abortion back to states. Since then, numerous states have all but banned the procedure or made it extremely difficult to get. 

For Tobias, the march is an opportunity to recenter the movement for the coming year.  

"In places where we can we want to change laws to protect unborn children and their mothers, we also want to do a lot of educating," she said.

Polling shows a majority of Americans disapprove of the Court's decision. But, rather than see it as a message that the movement needs to bend and compromise, Tobias says public opinion reaffirms the need for more education and on the ground help for expectant mothers. 

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For supporters of choice, it's also another day to power ahead. But some admit the months since the Court's decision have been difficult. 

Oriaku Njoku is the executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds. She says she hopes 2023 changes the way people discuss abortion access.  

"We're also not just talking about choice," she said. "We're talking about how race and gender and the economics — all sorts of things — come together to play into folks' decision-making process. Whether that's the Fight for $15 (minimum wage) and making the connection between how abortion procedures (cost) at minimum $500, you know, $400 sometimes if you're doing the pill, or less. But that's if you have access to telemedicine and can talk to someone and get it delivered."

Njoku says for the foreseeable future — in addition to fighting the laws being put on the books across the country — allies are going to have to step up to help those seeking care not easily attainable.