Remembering Nellie Gray


Of course, the March for Life is Nellie Gray’s main legacy.  Some pro-lifers take the March for granted. However, the March for Life is both unique and important for several reasons. There is no annual protest march in Washington that consistently draws the crowds the March for Life does. With only a couple of exceptions, there is no other pro-life event that has lasted 40 years. Finally, it is one of the few events that enjoys exceptionally broad support within the pro-life community.  Indeed, nearly every pro-life group — whether they be incrementalist, absolutist, religious, or secular — supports the March for Life and encourages supporters to attend.

As a tribute to Nellie, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund is encouraging pro-life activists do something concrete that will help to build a culture of life. This can range from praying outside an abortion clinic, to volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, to contacting their member of Congress and asking them to support pro-life legislation.  Pro-lifers are encouraged to post their activity to facebook, email it to the March for Life at, or tweet it out with the hashtag  #marchforlife. And of course, everyone is invited to the 41st March for Life in Washington, DC on January 22, 2014.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

MICHAEL J. NEW, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. He is also an Adjunct Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the Research and Education Arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Dartmouth College, Dr. New received a master’s degree in statistics and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 2002. Before coming to Michigan, Dr. New worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-MIT Data Center and later taught at The University of Alabama. Dr. New researches and writes about the social science of pro-life issues. He gives presentations on both the positive impact of pro-laws and the gains in public support for the pro-life position. He is a frequent blogger on National Review Online's "The Corner." Dr. New's study pro-life legislation was recently published by State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Four of his other studies on the effects of pro-life legislation have been published by the Heritage Foundation and another study was published by Family Research Council in 2008.

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