By Mark Weyermuller -
The annual March for Life 2020 took place last Saturday with supporters of life gathering at the Daley Plaza at Washington and Dearborn in downtown Chicago.
Weather predictions were dire with heavy snow and ice predicted but it turned out to be a pleasant 38 degrees with a very light rain, perhaps the best weather conditions in the 15 years of the march.
I have covered the event many times in Illinois Review.
The annual march coincides with the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, Roe vs Wade. The case was decided January 22, 1973. It is estimated 60 million unborn babies have been killed through abortion in the United States since that decision.
Media reports vary on the number of people attending this year. The starting point was moved this year to the larger Daley Plaza, which is about double the size then the previous location of the Federal Plaza down the street. It was also changed from Sunday to Saturday, when more people are downtown.
A rally was held with a variety of speakers including Democrat Congressman Dan Lipinski, Republican Congressman Darin LaHood, and Chicago Cardinal Blaise Cupich.
Some Chicago media reported “hundreds” while the march organizers are saying 9000. My estimate is around 4000, based on my photos and a grid count. The March went east on Washington to Michigan Avenue then south ending at the Congress Hotel. At one point my photos show the parade of people stretching six blocks. Given about 600 people per block by seven blocks I get 4000 people, not the “hundreds” reported by some media. The bottom line is this event is big and it continues to grow.
There were a handful of protesters across the street in support of abortion. I counted 61 people with a number of them holding signs about healthcare, open borders, and immigration. They were mostly ignored, except by some media.
The day started early with a convention at the Congress Hotel along with a youth rally attended by about 500, this four hours before the march. Many non-profit groups had booths showing their support and activities supporting life at the conventional hall.
Illinois Pro-Life Political Action Committee had a fundraising lunch and rally attended by supporters, legislators and candidates at noon before the march at Roti Grill across from the Daley Plaza. Their keynote speaker was Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne.
The mission of ICE-PAC is "to influence public policy decisions made at the state level by supporting Illinois candidates and issues that value human life, advance family stability, and uphold the dignity of all people."
After the March around 4:00 pm, about 700 people gathered at the Congress Hotel for a Catholic mass celebrating life. Later in the evening, a fundraising banquet was held sponsored by “We-Dignify” with Claire Culwell, an abortion survivor as its keynote speaker.
There is also more cautious optimism as a President Donald j. Trump might be able to appoint more pro-life Conservatives to the Supreme Court. Expect the debate to heat up over the coming months with the presidential election in November 2020.
The National March For Life will be held Wednesday, January 22 2020 in Washington D.C. https://marchforlife.org/national-march-for-life/
Again it can't be said enough, "LIFE WINS."
Weyermuller with 6th CD GOP candidate Jeanne Ives at the march Saturday