Pro-life supporters from across the state plan to use the upcoming March 13 Maryland March for Life in Annapolis to build support for crisis pregnancy centers and defeat a bill they say would hinder outreach to expectant mothers.
Their efforts will be focused on Senate Bill 690/House Bill 1146, a measure that would require crisis pregnancy centers to tell women they are not required to provide factually accurate information to clients. The measure is designed to raise suspicions about pregnancy centers, according to Deacon Richard “Monti” Montalto, co-chair of the Maryland March for Life and coordinator of “Pro-Life Initiative Baltimore.” (See story on page XX.)
“If the bill became law, it would create a lot of doubt in the minds of women looking for help,” said Deacon Montalto. “It could prevent them from finding out the detrimental effects of abortion.”
Crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes provide invaluable service, he said, giving a haven to many women and providing a wide range of material needs and referrals.
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien will kick off the march by celebrating a pro-life Mass at St. Mary in Annapolis at 6 p.m. A Christian prayer service will be offered simultaneously in the St. Mary’s High School hall for participants of other faiths.
The march to the State House will begin at 7 p.m., following a route from St. Mary through downtown Annapolis.
Kristin Cline, a client of a Maryland pregnancy center, will deliver the keynote address – discussing how she was helped by a pregnancy center. Nancy Paltell, associate director for the Respect for Life department of the Maryland Catholic Conference, will also speak about legislation affecting crisis pregnancy centers.
“The march gives us the opportunity to bring people together to be informed about the issues rather than having the information filtered through the mass media,” said Deacon Montalto.
Participants are encouraged to bring pro-life signs and banners that are not attached to sticks or poles. “Glowsticks” will be provided to all marchers.
Priests and deacons who are planning to join Archbishop O’Brien for the liturgy are asked to contact Deacon Montalto at 410-517-3925 before March 12.
Visit www.marylandmarchforlife.org for more information.