AZ For Life March and Rally 2020

The right to life is a human right.

That was the message worth fighting for at the AZ For Life March and Rally this year. Thousands of supporters came to support and stand for the more than 61 million lives lost since 1973: Roe v. Wade.

The march began in Cesar Chavez plaza where Arizona Sports’, Doug Franz, shared the powerful story of his daughter’s birth and subsequent fight for life. When his wife went into labor at just 21 weeks gestation, Doug and his wife were afraid. Upon being admitted to the maternity ward, 7 of the 10 physicians treating his wife recommended abortion. Doug and his wife refused. Instead, their daughter, Vienna, turning 20 the day of the rally, enjoyed a very loud and off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd.

Crowd members pulled wagons, held signs, and chanted to get their message across - abortion is the murder of the innocent, and pregnant women deserve love and support in times of need.

The rally began in front of the capitol complex, marked by a number of incredible speakers. Elisa Medina was the first to hold the stage. As the Executive Director of Hands of Hope Tucson, she called upon her own experience as a teenager with an unplanned pregnancy to inspire those to choose life. She spoke on the importance of love and respect to convert our culture into one that celebrates life and family.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead lead the gathered in a prayer, emphasizing the gratitude to God for every life. He inspired the crowd to keep God’s commandments and be willing to protect those who are most vulnerable.

Andrea Friedman took the stage next, the Director of Voice for the Voiceless. She spoke on the need to advocate for woman during crisis pregnancies. Society’s narrative would like you to believe that pregnancy is something to be feared; children are unwanted and a burden. Andrea insisted that this battle for life can only be won through the support of our women not only during pregnancy, but throughout their lifetime.

Gov. Doug Ducey congratulated the assembly on earning the title of the most pro-life state in the nation. He vowed to continue these efforts by increasing funding for adoption and supporting the legal protection of human life.

The next personality to take the stage, Ryan Bomberger, provided a humorous recount of his family consisting of ten adopted children in a racially diverse family of fifteen. He encouraged others to be as courageous as his birth mother and choose adoption over abortion.

Mayra Rodriguez, a former Planned Parenthood administrator, described her experience leaving the company. Formerly an administrator for the Glendale and northeast Phoenix locations, she was wrongfully terminated after bringing many unsafe medical practices to light. After winning a wrongful termination lawsuit, she states that her actions are the result of the prayers of the pro-life community and the support of Father Don Kline.

Abby Johnson was the keynote speaker of the event. Originally a Planned Parenthood facility director, she resigned after seeing an abortion on ultrasound. She now runs an anti-abortion ministry, And Then There Were None, for abortion-clinic workers that are seeking help leaving the industry. She provided reasoning for those seeking abortion – they feel as though they have no choice. Abby motivated pro-life advocates to spread love and acceptance to mothers in crisis. Love and hope will be the winning forces in this battle for human rights. 

One of the most impactful elements of the rally, however, was not a speech or a prayer, but the wall of roses flanking the stage. A wall of 12,438 roses – the number of Arizona children who were killed in their mother’s wombs in 2018. As the right for life movement continues to gain momentum, our hope is for that number to no longer exist.