By Jazmin Rosa
WINDSOR TERRACE — President Donald Trump’s presence at the annual March for Life in Washington on Jan. 24 will provide a boost to the pro-life movement, local pro-life advocates say.
“The president’s presence will undoubtedly motivate many of the marchers, and that is a good thing,” said Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of Pro-Life Activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, which is the public-policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops.
“The marchers have made great sacrifices to attend and to stand up for life,” Gallagher said. “It is so affirming to see so many thousands of young participants, which is a good reminder that young people truly are the pro-life generation. In the end, it will be these people who change hearts and minds and, hopefully, the law.”
“I don’t think this is something he is doing for the voters,” Pamela Menera — a facilitator at Rachel’s Helpers, a program that provides support for women who are seeking spiritual healing after having an abortion — said of Trump’s scheduled appearance. Menera, a parishioner at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, Douglaston, will be attending the rally as she has for the past 15 years.
“He’s working against all odds. He’s a billionaire in his own right, he doesn’t need to do this, so I believe he’s being sincere and not doing this for votes,” Menera said.
Trump will be the first sitting president to appear at the March for Life in person. He broke the news on Jan. 22 via Twitter.
“See you on Friday…Big Crowd!” Trump tweeted in reply to a promotional post from the March for Life account.
Trump spoke to the marchers last year via a video feed from the Rose Garden. Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to the march last year, and he spoke at the rally in January 2017, shortly after Trump’s inauguration.
Trump’s announcement this week landed on the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to have an abortion. The pro-life rally has been held every year since said that ruling was made in 1973.