2013-01-15 L’Osservatore Romano
Washington 14. A record presence: this prediction serves as a backdrop to the preparations for the March for Life in the United States that this year will be held on 25 January. The annual event for pro-life movements and organizations which enjoys the Catholic Church's support – promoted since 1974 following the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice which in 1973, after the Roe v. Wade trial, legalized abortion throughout the country – is receiving a great number of requests for enrolment. About 20,000 people took part in the first March in 1974. In the course of the years the number of participants in the initiative has gradually increased, reaching, for example, about 300,000 in 2010.
In a statement to the news agency Catholic News Service, Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund – the organization that organizes and sponsors the gathering that takes place in Washington D.C. – underlined that the hotels in the capital where the participants will be staying have reserved all the rooms a month earlier than in the past. This is taken as sign that the meeting this year will be marked by record numbers. Monahan added that “the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the sad reality” will bring a great influx of participants.
The March will be preceded by a nocturnal prayer vigil that will be held in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It will be opened by a Mass at which Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston will preside. The conclusion of the vigil will be marked by the celebration of a Mass at which Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell of Dallas will preside.