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fter months of social and political unrest amid an ongoing global pandemic, the 48th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., will take place Jan. 29 under a banner of unity and hope: “Together Strong: Life Unites.” This year’s theme underscores the fact that, for decades, the March for Life has been the largest peaceful protest for human rights in the United States. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund since 2012, has long been an eloquent and passionate advocate for the unborn and pregnant women in need. Columbia recently spoke with her about this year’s theme, the momentum of the pro-life movement, and social and political challenges in the new year. COLUMBIA: What is the significance of this year’s March for Life theme, Together Strong: Life Unites? JEANNE MANCINI: Every year, the March for Life chooses a theme that conveys a timely message. Because 2020 has been marked by such division, unrest and fear, there is a great need for us to come together and be reminded of our special mission — and our strength in truth. Though each of us brings our own individual talents to the life movement, we are far stronger together. Each one of us has a critical and irreplaceable role to play in building a culture of life. As St. Teresa of Calcutta put it, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” From choosing adoption to joyfully accepting the responsibilities of fatherhood and motherhood; from sidewalk counseling to lobbying; from prenatal care to post-abortion support; from praying for the most vulnerable to voting to protect them — everyone is desperately needed. Our unique gifts and talents, united in the service of one common mission, make us strong.

Top: Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, greets the crowd at the annual rally on the National Mall.

Photos by Jeffrey Bruno

Students from Oakcrest School, an all-girls school in northern Virginia, lead the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., past the U.S. Supreme Court building Jan. 24, 2020.

COLUMBIA: If the cause for human life should bring people together, why is the issue of abortion so divisive today? JEANNE MANCINI: The very act of abortion and its consequences are intrinsically divisive. Abortion divides a mother from her child. Reality is not arbitrary, and abortion by its very nature is a divisive, disintegrating act; it can never be unifying. The abortion industry has deceived many women into believing that pregnancy is a disease, that motherhood means giving up her dreams and that abortion is empowering. JANUARY 2021 B C O L U M B I A

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Profile for Columbia Magazine

Columbia January 2021  

Columbia January 2021