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AMERICA/UNITED STATES -
Washington (Agenzia Fides) – This year marks the 37th anniversary of the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that ruled abortion to be a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
As in past years, this January 21-22, thousands of pro-life supporters from all over the United States will gather in the capital city to protest this legalization of abortion in the country, with a Prayer Vigil on January 21 and the March for Life on January 22.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, will begin with a 6:30 p.m. EST Mass Jan. 21 and conclude with a 7:30 a.m. EST liturgy Jan. 22. Both will be broadcast live on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston will celebrate the evening Mass. Immediately following the act, priests will be available to hear confessions until midnight and there will be the recitation of a National Rosary for Life. After the Rosary, there will be a moment of prayer in the Byzantine Rite, followed by turns of Eucharistic Adoration lasting until 6am of the following day. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services will be the principal celebrant for the morning Mass.
As usual, the main event will begin with a noon rally Jan. 22 on the National Mall (in Washington, DC), followed by a march along Constitution Avenue that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court. Other events taking place on these days in the capital city include: Masses, prayer meetings, rosaries, Eucharistic Adoration, conventions, rallies, and testimonies.
This year's pro-life march may be the most important since it began, as it is taking place during an intense political struggle over the role of abortion and conscience protections in the final health care bill to be voted on by both houses of Congress. In this regard, the US Bishops' Conference has repeatedly reaffirmed that while health care reform may be necessary, it must never compromise on the protection of human life in all its stages.
A poll conducted in May 2009 as part of the annual "Gallup Values and Beliefs" survey found that a majority of Americans (51%) described themselves as "pro-life" with respect to the abortion issue, while only 42% said they were "pro-choice." This marked the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995 that more respondents said they were pro-life than pro-choice. (AR)
(Agenzia Fides 20/01/2010)
National Prayer Vigil
March for Life website