‘Contagious’ Energy at Arizona March for Life 2023
“The energy and the joy is contagious.” The Arizona March for Life happened on Feb. 23 starting at the State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona. I attended the rally before the march, which drew a large crowd, and thousands participated in the march. While the mood was optimistic due to the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade, Arizona’s new Democrat pro-abortion governor Katie Hobbs is an ominous opponent to future pro-life legislation and current pro-life laws in Arizona.
Several of the speakers vowed that Arizona’s legislature would continue to stand for life, however. Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, with multiple state congressmen gathered behind him, said that Democrats want to change Arizona law to allow abortion right up to birth. “But that will not happen on my watch,” he said. “As a legislator, and the speaker of the Arizona House behind me, I will always fight to protect the good laws that we have passed in this state to safeguard the sanctity of life.” He emphasized, “The rights of the unborn must be protected…our convictions are unbreakable.”
Senate President Warren Petersen indicated that until God is at the center of Americans’ lives again, unborn babies are at risk. “We need to bring God back into our lives,” he said. He thanked God for helping ensure that Roe would be overturned, and said that the number one reason he and many fellow legislators are Republican is because of the pro-life issue. “Republicans believe in the sanctity of life.” He added that the Founding Fathers “had it figured out,” highlighting the right to life in the Declaration of Independence, meaning America was founded on the principle of the sanctity of life.
Arizona Life Coalition’s Lori Zee Gray said she was referred to an abortion clinic by Planned Parenthood when she became pregnant at age 17, and that the abortion damaged her heart and soul, so she now helps pregnant women explore options. Another woman who helps pregnant girls explore options, Lynn Dyer, was given a “pro-life hero” award by Ashley Trussell of Arizona Life Coalition. Trussell said Dyer stopped eating chocolate in 1973 as a sacrifice to stop abortion, and has been praying and counseling women daily outside abortion clinics for decades, convincing several women to change their minds and to give life to their babies every week. She also helped a Planned Parenthood employee of 17 years become pro-life.
President of the national March for Life Jeanne Mancini found the mood of the gathered crowd inspiring. “The energy and the joy is contagious, so my heart is very light and it’s beautiful to see Arizona come together,” she said.
The teen winner of the Arizona Life Coalition’s student essay contest also spoke, and emphasized that our culture is suffering from what the late Pope Benedict XVI called the “dictatorship of relativism,” where nothing is morally definitive and everything is relative. Once a single exception is made against the sanctity of life, the downhill trend is inevitable. Until Americans value truth more than ego and personal desires, abortion will continue to be accepted by many Arizonans and Americans.
But that’s why so many speakers and Phoenix Bishop John Dolan emphasized the need for God at the rally–because, as George Washington once observed, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” The overturn of Roe is progress for the pro-life cause, but until God is again widely recognized as America’s king, the battle for the lives of unborn babies will continue.
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.