Remembering Nellie Gray

Last week marked the 1 year anniversary of the passing of pro-life leader Nellie Gray. Nellie Gray is, of course, best known for founding the March for Life and serving as the March’s emcee every year from 1974 to 2012.  However, many do not realize is that Gray’s involvement in pro-life activities extended well beyond the annual March for Life. She had a law degree from Georgetown University, and her ideas about how to design a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had considerable influence in pro-life circles during the 1970s and 1980s.

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.





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