HAZLETON — Anti-abortion activist Maryann Lawhon said that although many residents who had planned to attend the 43rd annual March to Life in Washington D.C. on Friday were unable to physically make the journey because of 15-18 inches of snow expected to hit the area, they were there in spirit, sending thoughts and prayers.
Lawhon, of the Hazleton Chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, said she has attended the rally faithfully for the last 38 years, missing only for the birth of her children.
Lawhon produced “The Voice of John,” a video about her commitment to the pro-life movement after the aftermath of an abortion she witnessed as a young nurse.
The commitment of the effort, she said, goes beyond ensuring that babies are safely born, but that families receive the care and attention necessary for success in the long term.
Although Lawhon believed most of those who had planned to make the trip from this area has cancelled their plans, there were many who did attend the March.
“They marched in the snow,” she said.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina addressed attendees of the March as the storm closed in.
According to the Associated Press, Kristlyn Whitlock, 20, who travelled from Steubenville, Ohio, and wore four layers of pants and five layers of tops to stay warm, said, “I would come here if it were thunderstorming.”
Although Lawhon was at home caring for her elderly father, she said she was following the coverage and spending the day in prayer.
Participants were able to gather at the foot of the Washington Monument before the cold settled in and the snow began as their march up the Supreme Court began.
“Perseverance during adversity,” said Lawhon, “is necessary to do God’s will.”
The march began in January 1974 on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, and is purported to be the largest pro-life event in the world, according to the event’s official website.