Brian T. Olszewski, The Catholic Virginan

According to Katrina Gallic, planning for the first Virginia March for Life was “in the works for many months” when the need for such an event became more evident in late January.

In a Jan. 28 committee hearing about H.R. 2491, its sponsor, Delegate Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, said the legislation would allow abortion until the point of birth. The bill did not pass.

During a radio interview two days later, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, commenting on what would happen if a child was born after a failed attempt at abortion, said, “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

“The timing (for the march) was perfect,” said Gallic, March for Life special assistant for communications, Tuesday, March 5.

Interviewed Monday, March 4, Felicia A. Pricenor, associate director of the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC), called it the “perfect time to get people educated and involved” in pro-life concerns.

Co-hosted by the VCC, March for Life Education and Defense Fund, the Family Foundation and Virginia Society for Human Life, the march will be held Wednesday, April 3, in Richmond. That date was specifically chosen for the event.

“The General Assembly is going to be in Richmond that day,” said Pricenor. “That date was chosen because we want to show them how important pro-life issues are to Virginians.”

Gallic added, “We want them to see massive crowds of pro-lifers and let them know Virginia does not stand with pro-abortion initiatives.”

At 9 a.m., Bishop Barry C. Knestout will celebrate Mass at St. Peter Church, which is two blocks from the capitol. 

The rally will begin at 11 a.m. in front of the capitol steps. Organizers said it will feature speakers from a number of organizations, but they had not been confirmed at press time.

The march will start at noon on a route yet-to-be-determined. They expect it to last about 75 minutes.

The Diocese of Richmond, through its Office of Catholic Marriage and Family Life, is providing financial assistance to parishes, schools and campus ministries by offering 33 percent funding, up to $700 per bus, that is contracted to transport the faithful to the march. According to information provided by that office, it will make it easier for people to participate, given the limited amount of parking in downtown Richmond. 

Gallic, who anticipates the Virginia March for Life will become an annual event, said she is expecting “thousands” to participate in the inaugural event.

Calling the rally “a great testament to pro-life people in Virginia,” Pricenor said it allows the VCC and others to “run with momentum we have at this time.”

“This is a great opportunity for people to become engaged and involved with their legislators on the state level and to make a difference,” she said.

Learn more

More information about the Virginia March for Life is available from the Virginia Catholic Conference at https://vacatholic.org/news-events/virginia-march-for-life/ or by contacting Felicia Pricenor at 804-225-8565 or felicia@vacatholic.org.

Obtain information about bus transportation from the Diocese of Richmond’s Center for Marriage, Family, and Life at cmfl@richmonddiocese.org or by calling 804-622-5109.