Approximately 2,000 people gathered in Chicago’s Loop on Sunday to proclaim the sanctity of human life and call for the overturn of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
The ninth annual March for Life Chicago drew pro-life citizens of all ages to participate in the rallies at Federal Plaza and the James R. Thompson Center and hear from Francis Cardinal George; Congressmen Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.; Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and others.
George, archbishop of Chicago, encouraged the crowd to continue standing up for the sanctity of life, saying that change is possible, even after a long struggle, as exhibited by the U.S. civil rights movement.
Attendees were treated to a rare show of bipartisan unity by U.S. House of Representatives Roskam and Lipinski.
“It is not just being against abortion; it is about embracing life,” remarked Lipinski, who noted, “The pro-life movement continues to build, continues to grow.”
Poignant personal reflections were shared by former Planned Parenthood worker Linda Couri and Brittaney Campbell, whose unexpected pregnancy, combined with the loss of a job and being on the verge of homelessness, caused her to seek an abortion.
“I felt that I was in way over my head. I was entirely on my own,” Campbell told the crowd. “I decided that my only option was to have an abortion.”
She recalled how she happened upon Aid for Women while looking for an abortion clinic. Aid for Women, a Chicago pregnancy counseling center, provided Campbell financial and emotional support.
“I am thankful for my twins, Olivia and Amelia, and thankful that they're not another statistic that represents a life lost to abortion,” Campbell shared.
The Federal Plaza lineup, emceed by WLS-AM’s Dan Proft, included pastor Ceasar LaFlore of New Community Church and Fr. Marco Mercado from Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Anna Slater, of Students for Life of Illinois, also helped warm up the crowd for the march to the Thompson Center.
Patrick McCaskey, of the Chicago Bears' board of directors, spoke during the second rally, which was hosted by Relevant Radio’s Sheila Liaugminas. Jill Stanek, a nurse whose experience with hospital abortions converted her into an outspoken life advocate, also had time on the podium.
“The 2014 March For Life Chicago was a great success,” said Mary Hallan-FioRito, spokesperson for the March For Life Chicago planning committee. “The pro-life movement has been objecting to legal abortion for 41 years. As Congressman Lipinski said, science is with us and truth is with us. We hope and pray that one day soon the law will be with us, too, and [that all will] recognize abortion for what it is—the intentional killing of a defenseless child.”