Photo credit: David Dry
In the late 1970s, Art Sawyer began a tradition in Annapolis
by hosting a yearly march to the State House to redress the State of Maryland’s stance on the issue of abortion. For years Art worked tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Maryland. After over 40 years the Maryland March for Life has grown to dozens of organizations, churches, and schools. It has become a centerpiece of the pro-life movement and has grown from a rally to a full social and religious event where pro-lifers from around the state can work together toward a common cause.
In 2010, the Steering Committee incorporated the organization as a 501(c)(4) - Maryland March for Life, Inc. The Board of Directors and Steering Committee represent a host of pro-life organizations throughout the state.
Ryan Bomberger, Kelly Stauffer, Roland Warren, Dr. Alveda King, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Steve Peroutka, Congressman Dr. Andy Harris, Tracey Tiernan, WRBS, David Bereit, 40 Days for Life, Matt Birk, Center for the Baltimore Ravens; Catherine Glenn Foster, CEO of Americans United for Life; Terrisa Bukovinac, PAAU; Toni McFadden.
Q: Who is the Maryland March for Life?
A: The Maryland March for Life is a grass roots, non-partisan, non-sectarian organization that is comprised of the many pro-life and pro-family groups throughout the state of Maryland. The Maryland March for Life does not seek to supplant existing pro-life organizations, but rather seeks to strengthen them by encouraging better cooperation and communication.
Q: There is a myriad of pro-life organizations already. How is the Maryland March for Life different?
A: The issue of abortion encompasses a huge swath of the social / economic / political spectrum. Because of the diversity of issues, no one organization is able to serve the needs of everyone, such as women’s needs, crisis pregnancies, state funding, cloning, stem-cell research, etc. at the same time. The Maryland March for Life is able to network with the different groups to support them by working with each other’s strengths. For example, many pro-life groups are restricted in dealing with legislative matters because of their non-profit status. However, these groups may find themselves under attack by new legislation and unable to defend themselves adequately without risking their tax-exempt status. By networking with the groups that are able to lobby on their behalf they are able to have a more powerful hand in affecting legislation. The March, religious services, and the mixer provide opportunities for prayer, networking, and fellowship.
Q: When is the Maryland March for Life?
A: The MMFL occurs every year during the regular legislative session. We prefer this time because it allows us to coordinate with groups to make our yearly message timely based on laws being proposed.
Q: What happens at the MMFL?
A: In normal times, the march begins at St. Mary’s in Annapolis with religious services in both Catholic and Protestant denominations. The marchers then gather together to march up Main Street to the State House. At the State House marchers rally with pro-life speakers and special guests to excite and educate marchers as to the direction the session will take this year. Immediately following the rally marchers proceed to the state house to attend a regular session of the state legislature to show support for pro-life lawmakers. Finally, marchers are invited back to St. Mary’s for an informal reception to meet and socialize with other pro-life marchers, organizations, and legislators.
In 2021 and 2022, we were among few groups still holding their annual demonstrations on Lawyer's Mall, even with a reduced program due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions.
In 2023, we will return to almost all of our full operations. Unfortunately, we just were not able to make our religious services and post-Rally mixer happen. We look forward to adding those back in 2024!