Why the March for Life matters

  • Written by Noreen McEntee Hobson
  • Published in Catholic Voices
3-D ultrasound of a baby in its mother’s womb. Photo: Shutterstock 3-D ultrasound of a baby in its mother’s womb. Photo: Shutterstock

Each and every life is a miracle

I remember being a big-bellied pregnant lady at 23 weeks with my third child, standing in the shower as my baby kicked and moved. I had just seen his adorable face on the ultrasound and it dawned on me: It would be legal to kill this child. How do we stop this right now?

That wasn’t my first brush with being pro-life. I was just a 1-year-old baby when my mother, Kathy McEntee, organized the first Washington State March for Life in 1978. If you had told me as a teenager that the march and I would both be 37 years old and still at this, I would have said you were crazy. I have always felt we are on the verge of victory.

My parents gave their six children the witness that being a pro-life Catholic is both joyful and right, and that truth and joy transform the world for the better. Long ago I made it my mission to be a formidably educated, exceedingly well-informed, loving and compassionate pro-lifer in my own right. I studied this subject, not just religiously, but secularly. I read every Planned Parenthood pamphlet I could get my hands on, pored over research, attended debates and presentations on both sides.

The truth that has become clear is that abortion is the taking of a human life and it hurts women and society. But we are a people of hope, called to be the hands and feet of Christ and bear witness that every life is a blessing, not a burden. That is why, once again, I’ll be at the March for Life in Olympia Jan. 20. Here is a little more of what motivates me to keep marching year after year.

I march because babies are dying every day. More than 2,800 abortions are performed daily in the U.S., on average. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about first or third trimester — these are people. You cannot be more or less human. From the moment you were conceived, you were always you.

I march because women are dying and getting injured, emotionally and physically. Deplorable women’s health care conditions cannot be tolerated anymore.

I march because we are called to love the Lord and one another. Because of the inherent dignity of all, we must build a culture of love that leads to the culture of life.

I march because, as St. Paul says in his Letter to the Romans, “Hope does not disappoint.”

I march because this movement is open to all. Everyone is invited to the March for Life — every individual, every legislator, Democrat or Republican, religious or not.

I march because, as Feminists for Life so eloquently puts it, “Women Deserve Better than Abortion.”

I march because, although I thought the original pro-life leaders, including my mom, might live forever — or at least until we saw the end of abortion on demand — that was not to be. Before her death in 2008, I promised my mom that we would all keep up the good fight in her honor, and for all the other heroes who came before us.

I march because if we don’t, who will?

I march because this movement is part of a necessary conversation that will change hearts and minds. I march for those who disagree with us. We must pray for and love everyone. Hate begets hate. Love begets the great big love we need.

I march because it is the least we can do. It is one part of one day out of 365. It is a warm, wonderful crowd and a short walk.

I march because if our presence changes one heart or one mind, if we save one baby, then a lifetime dedicated to this cause has been worth it. Each and every life is a miracle. And I will keep marching if it means we can save even one more. Together, I know we will change the lives of women and children everywhere.

This is why I march, and I hope you will join us.

Noreen McEntee Hobson, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Tacoma, is president of the Washington State March for Life.

Northwest Catholic - January/February 2015