- NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER - Matthew McDonald - MAR 22, 2023 -
Despite living in a state that supports abortion rights, participants at the event expressed hope that they will be able to build on the success that the pro-life movement achieved nationally last year, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
HARTFORD — Several thousand pro-lifers rallied and marched against abortion Wednesday afternoon at the state Capitol in Connecticut, one of the most abortion-friendly states in the country.
The event began with an approximately 50-minute rally on the steps of the Capitol building, followed by a march through adjacent Bushnell Park and along several side streets, ending where it started. There, the throng was met by a handful of pro-abortion protesters holding signs.
Among the speakers, Melissa Manion told rally-goers about having an abortion. She recalled with pain telling her boyfriend, who she said wanted to stay with her and help her raise the child, that she intended to go through with the abortion and that there was nothing he could do about it.
She subsequently encountered Jesus, and now helps women with problem pregnancies.
“Now is not the time to just say we’re pro-life. We need to be pro-love. We need to embrace women who are pregnant and scared, and make faith and give love and compassion to those hiding in the shadow of abortion shame. At the end of the day, what these people need is the love of Jesus,” Manion said, to applause. “Laws may change, but that won’t. Will you all show them the love of Jesus? Will you be his hands and his feet?”
This year’s is the second annual March for Life in Hartford.
“And what has happened since we all met here last year? Roe v. Wade is over,” said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, to applause. “And someday the 1990 law still keeping abortion legal in Connecticut will be over, too.”
He criticized a bill being considered in the state Legislature that would provide public funds for women traveling to Connecticut to have an abortion, which he likened to “abortion tourism.”
But he said pro-lifers standing up against abortion helped bring about the end (in June 2022) of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
“Be aware. Be realistic. We know the state of Connecticut, what the obstacles are here,” Wolfgang said. “But if we can overturn Roe Versus Wade, we can do anything, even in Connecticut.”
The state director for the march, Erin Getz, who also works for the Education and Defense Fund of the March for Life, said that “for too long the laws of this state have been promoting a culture of death.”
Earlier in the day, Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford celebrated a pro-life Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. He, along with Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Bishop Michael Cote of Norwich and Auxiliary Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt of Hartford attended the rally.
In his homily, Archbishop Blair described support for abortion as “self-serving moral reasoning that is divorced from the truths of God.”
But he warned that Catholics must make sacrifices if abortion is to end. He also said that God is in charge, which ought to make pro-lifers temper any discouragement or anger.
“If we think that the fate of the world, or of society, and of the unborn and the vulnerable, if we think that rests with us, we are forgetting who God is,” Archbishop Blair said.