The Forty Years' War: A Matter of Life or Death: The 40th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade Is Now History, and It Was Marked with Mass Marches and Media Silence. What Has Changed in 40 Years?

Article excerpt

As the nation witnessed an estimated 600,000 people participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 25, three days after the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the battle lines remain drawn as pro-life activists seek to roll back the effects of the infamous Supreme Court decision.

Despite the large number of marchers, the major media, as usual, largely ignored the event. Only the EWTN religious programming network provided full, on-the-ground coverage.

USA Today reported that Pope Benedict XVI sent an encouraging message to the marchers by way of his personal Twitter account, @pontifex: "I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life."

Speakers at this year's rally included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Sen. Rick San-torum (R-Pa.), Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston. "Can a nation long endure that does not respect the sanctity of life?" asked Senator Paul.

"Can a nation conceived in liberty carry its head high if it denies protection to the youngest and most vulnerable of its citizens?"

Rep. Smith's remarks, addressed to President Obama, drew applause from the crowd: "Forty years ago this past Tuesday marks the Supreme Court's infamous, reckless and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to the abortionists. ... Know this, Mr. President--we will never quit."

"The march was overwhelmingly young," Patrick Novecosky, editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine, told THE NEW AMERICAN. "In fact. I would say that three-quarters of the people I saw were under 25. There were groups of them singing hymns, talking about the issue of abortion--and they were joyfully optimistic. Despite the snow and 20-degree weather, I didn't hear one complaint."


The March for Life in Washington, D.C., was one of several such events held throughout the country to mark the Roe v. Wade anniversary. For example, on January 26, the Walk for Life West Coast drew more than 50,000 participants in San Francisco, who marched in a procession from Civic Center Plaza to Justin Herman Plaza.

One of the principal speakers in San Francisco was Summer of '42 actress Jennifer O'Neill. who is the international spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. ABC7 News in San Francisco reported that O'Neill spoke to the crowd about her regrets at having an abortion, saying: "Abortion hurts women and families and society and it needs to become unthinkable."

The march had a large contingent of ranking Catholic clergy, as Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the papal nuncio to the United States, attended, joining 14 bishops led by San Francisco's new Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Another featured speaker in San Francisco was Reverend Clenard Childress, the founder and director of, a website designed to reach the African-American community with the truth about abortion. Kathleen Naab of Zenit News Agency interviewed Rev. Childress three days before the march and asked him to explain his assertion that abortion is particularly destructive to the black community. He replied: "African Americans make up 12.4 percent of the population but 37 percent of all abortions; 52 percent of all African American pregnancies end in abortion; 1,786 African American babies are killed each day by the abortion industry."

Childress told those gathered for this year's West Coast event: "We are united together as one until the job is done," as the crowd cheered loudly. "We are getting ready to take it up to another level, alleluia."

On his website, the black pastor makes a point of exposing a little-known fact about Planned Parenthood founder Mar-great Sanger--about whom we will write more. Said Childress:

  The leading abortion provider in the U. …