Why you should come to the 2014 March for Life – and why you should start planning now


This past January was the first time I attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, I felt giddy for weeks. There is something about the energy of that many people coming together in defense of life that galvanizes you.

While we were all hoping there wouldn’t need to be another March, it’s looking like 2013 is not the year we end abortion. So we’re gonna march again on January 22, 2014. And nothing will make it better or more meaningful than having you – yes, you – show up.

So why am I writing this in October and not January? Because if you’re going to come (please come!) you need to start preparing yourself now.

Here are my tips and tricks for preparing for (and getting the most out of) your March for Life experience.

If you buy this for me, perhaps at the 2014 March for Life I shall be indistinguishable from a beautiful golden lioness in my The North Face Gotham Jacket in Tanzania Tan.
If you buy this for me, perhaps at the 2014 March for Life I shall be indistinguishable from a beautiful golden lioness in my The North Face Gotham Jacket in Tanzania Tan.

1. Buy warm stuff.

I am from Texas. I don’t know what cold means. Not really. I showed up in what I previously thought was a “warm” coat, only to find it about as effective as a light cardigan against the 18-degrees-and-snowing weather. On the day of the March, you may spend several hours in the elements, and you’ll walk a long way.

Destiny and I were miserable. Miserable. We got cold enough that we felt sick, and it took us hours to warm up.

Dying of hypothermia is not pro-life. So even if you have to borrow or thrift, get real cold-weather gear. And don’t neglect your feet. (Note: In the snow, cowboy boots are not your friends.)

The lobby of this Hyatt Regency will be crawling with pro-lifers, and you can be one of them.
The lobby of this Hyatt Regency will be crawling with pro-lifers, and you can be one of them.

2. Find a hotel room.

This one is self-explanatory. About half a million people will be converging on Our Nation’s Capitol. Book a room now. For extra-super fun, share with a friend or friends. I shared with Destiny two nights and Jewels Green one, and it was probably a little too much of a good time. (Jewels brought me coffee in the morning. You should room with her if you can.)

"Hi, taxi! I love you!" - Me
“Hi, taxi! I love you!” – Me

3. Take taxis.

Start saving now. Get a jar and write “TAXI” on it, and put as much money in there as you can. Skip meals if you have to. Because the Metro is scary and confusing. Everyone moves way too fast and the thingy where you buy the tickets is terrifying in its complexity. I have used subway systems in New York and San Francisco, and I don’t know if it was the hypothermia affecting my brain or what, but the D.C. train was baffling and horrible.

So I spent most of my allotted funds on taxis, and I enjoyed it like you wouldn’t believe. I had only been in a cab a dozen or so times before last January, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I like it when people do stuff for me so I can think about squirrels in Christmas hats or whatever else happens to be going through my mind.

Anyway, I had a great discussion about abortion with one of my taxi drivers, and I shared cabs with lots of interesting pro-lifers I only knew because they’re famous on the Internet.

If you want to be frugal and rad and take the train, hey. You do that. But I am a taxi girl and I’ll stay a taxi girl.

Destiny, Jewels, and me. These chicks are my heroes.
Destiny, Jewels, and me. Those gals are my heroes.

4. Meet people.

That’s the best part about this thing. We’re there to make a statement and send a message (if the press bothers to report that there’s a march happening), but we’re also there to encourage and edify each other. Here’s a statement that will make you say “duh”: being a pro-life activist, writer, student, or whatever, isn’t easy. Sometimes you feel isolated or burned out. You feel like you’re alone, or you’re out of ideas.

The March will pep you up. You’ll make connections. You’ll think of new projects. You’ll even Dance on Injustice.

You’ll also meet pro-life people you only know from the Internet. Come meet me, for instance. I’m nice.

This is basically how I packed last year. Don't do this.
This is basically how I packed last year. Don’t do this.

5. Plan ahead.

Start doing some research on all the events that are happening that week and weekend so you can take advantage of your time in D.C. There is way more to do than just the March – the Rose Dinner, the Youth Rally, the Law Conference, the totally incredible Dance On Injustice, and so much more. You can register for many events – and book your hotel room – at the March for Life website.

But don’t stop there! Start doing your research. Google, Facebook, and ask your friends. There is so much to learn and so many connections to make that week.

You’ve got plenty of time to save up, book a hotel and a flight, get some warm clothes, and come out to an event that will change your life if you let it. Join us. March for Life with Live Action this January. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

  • Martha

    Nice post, Kristen. I would add one last tip: Wear wool socks on the day of the March. I’m from Maryland, and thought I was dressed appropriately. I had on 2 pairs of cotton socks and wore fleece-lined snow boots. It felt like I was wearing flip-flops…. couldn’t feel my feet at all by the time we reached the Supreme Court! My friend (who’s from Florida!!!!) just shook her head sadly and remarked, “No wool socks?” Granted, last year’s March was cold, even by MD standards, but we could always be hit with that same cold again. See you there!

  • BiologyBrain

    I hope to see you there too! As part of your warm clothes remember a stocking hat, scarf & gloves (preferably mittens or those ones you can flip the mittens on & off). In addition to your wool/warm socks… I used my hat as a place to put my pro-life buttons & such. My scarf covered the gap between my coat & head. The gloves I had were great because they were wool with the flip back mitten and they actually fit over my thinner gloves with fingers. I still froze half to death, but without these essentials, I probably would have been worse!

    Oh and bring a camera, charge your phone/camera for those awesome shots of the crowd at the top of the hill!! My phone/camera died as I reached the too. I got 1 good photo of the crowd before it died.

  • Jess

    AHHH cold weather!! I’ve lived the last 4 years down south and just moved back home to MI and have yet to experience a winter again. I always think I’m dressed warmly enough and then sure enough I step out of the car to walk into TJMaxx and BAM! I’m freezing! I’m planning on buying myself, 3 kids and hubby snowsuits! …Watch it’ll be like 60* =P

  • Danni

    I would love to come if I can afford it. I could definitely use the encouragement! I certainly don’t get any at college, where one of my teachers actually said that abortion was just a ploy by politicians to distract Americans from the “important issues” :(

  • guest

    Don’t forget handwarmers! Bring extra for your feet, too!