Missourians are poised to participate in today’s 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C. — including 270 people signed up to be aboard five buses that traveled from the Diocese of Jefferson City.
The March for Life is an annual anti-abortion event, in its 46th year. The first march was Jan. 22, 1974, according to the event’s website — one year to the day after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion.
Director of Diocesan Communications Helen Osman said Thursday that more than 15 groups including churches, youth groups and schools are represented aboard five buses that left Jefferson City on Wednesday and arrived in the nation’s capital Thursday.
Sandy Hentges, Helias Catholic High School’s director of communications and admissions, said 15 Helias students are part of the Jefferson City diocesan group this year, adding Helias students have been going to the march for at least 10 years. Hentges said the students who went this year range from freshmen to seniors.
After the 10 a.m. start today of a lineup of speakers, a musical performance and a rally program, the March for Life from the National Mall up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol buildings is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
A preliminary itinerary for the diocesan group from September showed the buses would arrive at a local parish in Washington for the group to drop off its belongings, and then proceed to take the group to “touring and prayer experiences around D.C. related to the March for Life.”
The Catholic Missourian reported Wednesday the diocesan group was also bound for the National Mass and Prayer Vigil for Life — a series of prayers and Mass celebrations hosted by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and scheduled for Thursday night and early this morning.
Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak today at a dinner that’s been part of the March for Life for 37 years. Pence addressed the March for Life in 2017.
Missouri legislators who represent the state in Congress are also scheduled to speak at a meeting with Missouri Right to Life’s “Missouri Life Caravan” this morning at a Senate office building in Washington. Missouri Right to Life is comprised of two nonprofit corporations and a political action committee.
The legislators scheduled to speak include Sen. Roy Blunt, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, as well as an assistant to Sen. Josh Hawley.
The group from Missouri Right to Life also plans to carry a banner during the march this afternoon.
Jefferson City’s own Midwest March for Life is scheduled for Feb. 2. A full schedule is available at www.midwestmarchforlife.com/.