HARTFORD, Connecticut – Several thousand Connecticut residents flooded the area surrounding the state Capitol building in Hartford Wednesday for the first-ever Connecticut March for Life pro-life rally and peaceful demonstration that celebrated life from the moment of conception to natural death.

“It’s just incredibly significant to have Connecticut’s first March for Life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the national March for Life Defense and Education Fund, told The Connecticut Star.

Mancini’s organization runs the March for Life event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., each year on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, in which the Court created a right to abortion.

The national March for Life organization partnered with the Connecticut Catholic Conference, whose executive director, Christopher Healy, acted as emcee at the rally.

Mancini said now that the Connecticut pro-life community has organized a March for Life, “we can rally the grassroots to be able to do good things in the state, and we know that good things need to be done.”

“This is a state that’s pretty hostile to life, whether it’s the end of life or the beginning of life,” she observed, referring to both the assisted suicide bill currently making its way through the state legislature, and the fact that Connecticut is one of the few states that has codified the provisions of Roe v. Wade in state law.

The pro-life leader, who addressed the crowd at the rally, explained the crux of the movement is now focused on the states:

Everything is happening at the level of the states. When you look at the last five years, I think over 400 bills have been passed that are protective of life. And a lot of these are what we would describe as common sense bills and are very popular with mainstream America, such as informed consent bills, helping to know about the child’s development, helping to know what this means for the mother, etc. So much can happen at the level of the states. There’s just so much potential there.

“I think that something like today’s march is going to be critically important, especially with the potential of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health],” and what that could mean for abortion legislation in the states,” Mancini added. “So, we’re here today to talk about the inherent dignity of the human person, about how mothers deserve better than abortion, and to really try to change hearts and minds in this state.”

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, told The Connecticut Star the state’s first March for Life event “marks a turning point”:

The March for Life has been a tradition in Washington, D.C., for 49 years, ever since Roe v. Wade was passed by the U.S. Supreme Court, imposing abortion on all 50 states. It’s possible, God willing, that we may now see the repeal of Roe v. Wade this year. If that should happen, abortion is still legal in the state of Connecticut. So, what happens next is that the battle is not over. What happens is the battle shifts to states like Connecticut. We become the frontline in this fight. And, so, the goal will be, just as 49 years of marching for the unborn child on Washington, may, God willing, bring about the end of Roe v. Wade this year, we now need to begin a new tradition of marching for the unborn child every year here in the state of Connecticut to repeal something called the 1990 law, which is what keeps abortion legal in Connecticut after Roe v. Wade.

Wolfgang explained as well the effort by pro-abortion rights politicians to embed a right to abortion in the state constitution.

“So, whether it’s by our state constitution, whether it’s by the 1990 statute, whatever the law is that’s keeping it legal to take the life of an unborn child here in the state of Connecticut,” he asserted, “beginning this year, we’ll have a proud new tradition where we’re going to March every year until unborn children are protected not only in federal law, but right here in the state of Connecticut.”

Other rally speakers included Archbishop Leonard Blair of the Hartford archdiocese; Archbishop Leroy Bailey of the nondenominational First Cathedral; Lisa Maloney, president of CT Pregnancy Care Center Coalition; and Christina Bennett of Live Action.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].