For the first time since the Supreme Court overturned nationwide abortion rights last summer, thousands are expected to gather in D.C. for the March for Life rally on Friday.
This year’s event marks 50 years after the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade — a decision that the court overturned in June.
The march comes as some celebrate that ruling and others seek to secure abortion rights through other means at the state level.
Since Roe was struck down, numerous states have implemented bans on abortion, while others have scrambled to pass legislation affirming access.
Though some abortion rights opponents have reveled in victory this year, March for Life organizers have said there is more work to be done.
Here’s what you need to know.
- Q: What is the March for Life? When is it?
The March for Life is an annual rally of abortion rights opponents that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
The rally, which is held on the National Mall, starts at noon on Friday, Jan. 20.
- Q: What's the route of the march?
This year, organizers said that marchers will use a new route, “in order to mark not only our victory in Dobbs but also our need to maintain a presence in Washington.”
Marchers will start at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 12th street Northwest. They’ll move down Constitution Avenue before turning right on 3rd street. The group will then head onto Independence Avenue. The march ends between the Capitol and the Supreme Court.
- Q: What is this year's theme?
The theme of this year’s march is, “Next Steps: Marching into a Post-Roe America.”
Organizers said the theme “emphasizes the need in the absence of Roe v. Wade for pro-life advocates to continue boldly marching in defense of the unborn – both on the state and federal level – and advocating for a minimum federal standard to protect innocent life against radical pro-abortion legislation.”
- Q: What streets are closed and when?
D.C. police will close the following roads from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Some surrounding streets will also be posted as emergency no parking for much of the day — for a list of those, see here.
- Constitution Avenue from 15th Street to 2nd Street, NE
- Pennsylvania Avenue from 7th Street, NW to 3rd Street, NW
- 12th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Madison Drive, NW
- 12th Street Tunnel
- 10th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 9th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 9th Street Tunnel
- 7th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- 6th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 4th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- 3rd Street from Indiana Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- Madison Drive from 14th Street to 7th Street, NW
- Jefferson Drive from 14th Street to 7th Street, SW
- Independence Avenue from 7th Street, SW to 2nd Street, SE
- Pennsylvania Avenue from 2nd Street, SE to 4th Street, SE
- Q: What other events are there?
A couple of events are scheduled ahead of the march on Friday.
An expo runs from Wednesday to Friday that connects march attendees with organizations that oppose abortion rights.
There’s a seminar on Thursday at 11 a.m. where lobbyists and legislative experts are expected to speak.
On Friday morning, the musical group We Are Messengers will perform at a pre-rally concert that begins at 11 a.m.
The rally is at noon and the march is from 1 to 4 p.m.
After the march is over, there’s a rose dinner gala from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Q: Who's speaking?
Some of the speakers include:
- Jonathan Roumie, who played ‘Jesus’ in the groundbreaking series, “THE CHOSEN”.
- Coach Tony Dungy, New York Times bestselling author and Pro-Football Hall of Famer
- Dr. Christina Francis, CEO-Elect of the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Gina Tomes, Director of the Bethlehem House Maternity Home
- Sister Mary Casey, Sisters of Life
- Casey Gunning, teacher’s assistant and lifelong athlete in the Special Olympics
- Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who won the Dobbs Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade
- House Majority Leader Steve Scalise
- Congressman Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
- Connecticut State Representative Treneé McGhee
The opening prayer will be led by the Most Reverend Bishop Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, and Franklin Graham will give the closing prayer.