On January 20, 2023, Tom and Mindy Edwards of Sandusky, Ohio attend the 50th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. / Katie Yoder/CNA
22 January 2023 / 10:40 a.m. EST in Washington, D.C. (CNA).
Kristi Hamrick recalls the day Roe v. Wade became the law of the land fifty years ago.
Her clergyman father’s reaction to the news is one of her most memorable memories.
She stated, “I probably saw him cry twice or three times in his lifetime.” The day when Roe occurred was among them.
Her father battled the 22 January 2022 U.S. Supreme Court judgment from the beginning, and Hamrick followed in his footsteps.
She attended last week’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., in her capacity as chief media and policy strategist for Students for Life of America, a leading pro-life advocacy group. As with other veteran marchers, she was reminded of the early years following the Supreme Court’s historic abortion verdict, when many in the pro-life movement thought they might not survive to see Roe overturned.
This year, however, at the 50th annual march, the desired goal became a reality.
In 1976, Tom and Mindy Edwards of Sandusky, Ohio, participated in their first March for Life.
“They have all been wonderful. There have always been many individuals. Tom, age 70, told CNA that it is impossible to determine the number of people. In this way, it is simply stunning.
“It’s great to see so many young individuals. It gives us a great deal of optimism,” Mindy, 68, added.
This year, the couple journeyed with the respect life ministry of Port Clinton’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on a crowded bus. According to them, the life issue is personal.
Mindy disclosed that she joined the pro-life movement after the loss of a child 33 years prior. “My husband and his family have always been involved in the pro-life movement, even before Roe v. Wade was decided. And they truly motivated me.”
Later, the couple adopted a special-needs daughter. As a result, when Casey Gunning, who has Down syndrome, spoke at the 2023 march, Mindy reported feeling emotional.
Tom urged pro-life Americans, as the cause advances, to discuss the reality of abortion.
“We must identify what it is,” he stated. “It is the murder of an unborn child… It is the murder of a kid.”
Jeanne Mancini, head of the March for Life, admitted that she did not expect Roe to be reversed in her lifetime — that is, until she read the main brief and heard the oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi abortion case that finally overturned Roe.
On June 24, 2022, she was in her office in Washington when the decision was announced.
“I was overcome with peace and gratitude for all of the marchers who marched over the years, as I believe Roe was overturned in large part due to their testimony of the inherent dignity of the unborn child.”
Chuck Donovan, who serves on the board of the March for Life and is the head of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, stated that he participated in his first march in 1979.
According to him, the “personality of the movement changed” over time.
“Initially, the march was an opportunity to draw attention to and protest the Supreme Court’s decision,” he recalled, noting that the average march had a more “funeral air,” representing the lives lost to abortion.
Approximately over the past decade, he noted a difference.
“As it became more youthful — as it grew — it became celebratory and optimistic “he remarked. “”I didn’t know if we were technically winning, but it began to seem like we were on the march.”
He recalled that the first president to wave at pro-life marchers was Ronald Reagan.
According to him, March for Life founder Nellie Gray persistently attempted to get President Ronald Reagan to speak at the march. Donovan worked at the White House at the time and emphasized Reagan “would have loved to do that.” After the 1981 assassination attempt, Reagan’s team, however, was concerned for his safety.
But Gray was persistent. Donovan recalled that she spoke with the president on the morning of March and told him, “You have to come today.” Reagan was hesitant, but Gray persuaded him to wave to the protesters from the Truman balcony of the White House.
On January 20, 2023, Kristi Hamrick, vice president of media and policy for Students for Life Action and chief media and policy strategist for Students for Life of America, will attend the 50th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Katie Yoder/CNA
Kristi Hamrick believed she would be alive to witness Roe’s demise.
She stated that it was always evident to her that abortion was not in the U.S. Constitution, but that the evolution of the pro-life movement was also a significant impact.
“We have attorneys, physicians, and those who provide service to women. People who have had abortions share their experiences. We have individuals who have survived rape and rejected abortion, as well as those who were conceived via rape “She stated, “And we lacked this when Roe occurred. We created that!”
She stated that she was on a Zoom conversation with her team and FaceTiming with folks at the court when Roe was reversed. She exclaimed, “I will never forget it.”
“This colossal evil is no more, and we must now pick up our cross and move on to the next challenge. “Yes, it is the 50 states, but I am so excited!” she exclaimed.
“The Supreme Court presented an obstacle. And now we can go wherever we choose.”