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Michigan March for Life 2023: Why Genevieve Believes You Should be There

Genevieve Marnon, pictured above, admits she has started dreaming at night about parking lots, bus routes and city permits. With the clock ticking down until the first ever Michigan March for Life on November 8, the logistics of this major pro-life event in Lansing are labyrinthine. The purpose, however, is singular and very clear.

“Why is it important to be at the Michigan March for Life? Because one year from the passage of the radically pro-abortion Proposal 3 into our state constitution, the supporters of abortion want this debate to be done, they think they’ve won, they now just want pro-lifers to go away. Well we’re not going away. Not until every unborn child is protected in law,” says Genevieve who is now in her 12th year as Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan. 

Genevieve is a key player in the team at Right to Life who are working hard to make the Michigan March for Life happen. They are doing so in conjunction with their event partners at the national March for Life organization based in Washington, D.C.

“We were contacted by the President of the National March for Life, Jeanne Mancini, very shortly after Roe v Wade was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June of last year in order to discuss the possibility of a Michigan March for Life. I think Jeanne instantly realized that the states are now where the abortion issue is at,” recalls Genevieve.

“Last year, however, we were in the throes of the Proposal 3 campaign and just didn’t have the bandwidth to organize a great, big state-wide march. This year, though, we can, and we have and the reason we chose the date? Because that is the anniversary of the passing of Proposal 3.”

The November 8 event will begin at 9:30am with Holy Mass in Saint Mary Cathedral with Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing as the principal celebrant. That will be followed at 11am by a rally on the steps of the State Capitol with the March for Life setting off from there at Noon. The choice of location is both symbolic and strategic. 

“I have just come from testifying in committee on the euphemistically named ‘Reproductive Health Act’ which is, essentially, a package of 11 bills that would just repeal every pro-life law on the books and, as of right now, that package of bills is stalled,” says Genevieve who, as the legislative director, spends much of her working week attempting to win friends and influence people within the corridors of political power in Lansing.  

“And I think that’s another big reason for showing up at the March for Life – to let these legislators inside the State Capitol know that this is an important issue. Maybe that’s going to be enough to stop this terrible legislation. We hope, we hope.”

Those in attendance at the State Capitol on November 8 will hear from a range of local and national pro-life figures including Barbara Listing, President of Right to Life of Michigan, and Jeannie Mancini, President of the National March for Life. The keynote address will be given by Genecia Davis, the founder of Black Girls for Life who will share her personal story of abortion and her subsequent path to peace.

Each speaker at the March for Life will attempt to chart a way forward for the pro-life movement in Michigan in the wake of defeat in last year’s state-wide vote on Proposal 3, a ballot initiative which inserted a so-called “right to reproductive freedom” into the state constitution by 57% to 43% margin.

Genevieve says she believes that the majority of Michiganders who voted for Proposal 3 “don’t want abortion as envisioned by the Reproductive Health Act”. Many voters, she asserts bluntly, “were simply duped”. Surprisingly, perhaps, she also believes that the passing of Proposal 3 doesn’t radically changes the task before the pro-life lobby in Michigan. 

“Abortion has been legal for the last 50 years in the State of Michigan. So, with the passage of Proposal 3 things haven’t really changed. Yes, laws do make a difference, and good laws can save lives but, one year after Proposal 3’s passage, the mission remains the same: Get a woman to make a choice for life; convince people that choosing life is good for themselves, for their child, and for society. The mission still requires no rest until all of God’s children are protected in law. Period. That’s it. It’s pretty straightforward.”

“We have got to change the culture before we’re going to be able to change this constitutional provision and part of the way we change the culture is to show up on November 8 and show a loving, prayerful, joyful support for women and their unborn children.”

Working from a small office in central Lansing, Genevieve is only a stroll away from the State Capitol and, almost as important for her, the local coffee shop. Even closer, however, is Saint Mary Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Lansing. It’s a proximity Genevieve has come to greatly appreciate and, indeed, rely upon over her years.

“Since I started working here, I do try to go to daily Mass because you have to be prepared spiritually for this work,” says Genevieve.

 “When you are sitting in those committee rooms where abortion is being debated, you can feel the demonic presence, you can feel it. In fact, I said as much just the other day to my assistant while we were in committee at the Capitol. She agreed and, so, we quickly prayed the prayer to Saint Michael.” Genevieve’s purse also contains holy water and a rosary, both deployed on a daily basis. 

As a mother of four (with one in heaven) and grandmother of six, the issue of abortion is something that is personal and emotive to Genevieve. For her, every abortion is a little life with big potential whose execution is sanctioned by those responsible for protecting the most vulnerable. That includes the political class in and around the State Capitol in Lansing. 

“We abort three kindergarten classrooms full of children a day. That’s 95 babies a day killed in abortions in the State of Michigan. So why come to the March for Life? Because those 95 babies a day are counting on you to stand up for them.”

Michigan March for Life 2023

The Nov. 8 event will begin at 9:30 a.m. with Holy Mass in St. Mary Cathedral with Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing as the principal celebrant. That will be followed at 11 a.m. by a rally on the steps of the State Capitol, with the March for Life setting off from there at noon.