Pro-life groups adjust Walk for Life events as part of immunization mandate
The annual Walk for Life will go ahead as planned this year, but pro-life groups are changing their planned activities due to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s vaccination mandate.
The 49th annual March for Life is scheduled to take place on January 21, six days after a vaccination mandate goes into effect in Washington, DC, where the march is being held. The terms of reference will require that persons seeking entry into “restaurants, bars and nightclub establishments”, “indoor entertainment establishments”, “indoor exercise and recreation establishments” and “event and entertainment establishments”. indoor meetings ”provide proof of having received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of January 15.
From February 15, those wishing to enter most of the covered establishments will need to provide proof of having received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Indoor establishments exempt from the vaccination mandate include places of worship, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and other medical establishments, “big box stores and retail establishments where people tend to be on the move and not to stand or sit near others for long periods of time, ”and several types of government facilities.
Those entering an establishment for a short period of time, such as those picking up a take-out fast food order, do not need to provide proof of vaccination. This year’s Walk for Life is the first to take place since the coronavirus pandemic began almost two years ago.
Instead of the typically organized large rally that draws pro-life activists from across the United States, a scaled-down version of the march was held last year with a small group of pro-life leaders in person like most of the Pro-life Americans tuned in virtually. The annual pro-life rally takes place around the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
This year’s March for Life comes as the Supreme Court is due to render a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health who could give power back to states to decide how they want to regulate abortion. The Walk for Life, the organization that runs the annual pro-life rally, said it would go ahead as planned while also explaining how the vaccine’s mandate could impact participants’ readiness to participate in the festivities.
“The 49th Annual March for Life on January 21 in Washington, DC will go as planned with a kick-off concert by Matthew West at 11:00 am, followed by the rally at noon and the march to the Supreme Court at 1:15 am . afternoon, ”declared the president of the March for Life, Jeanne Mancini, in a press release on Wednesday. “While the Walk for Life itself is not affected, our indoor events will undergo some changes due to the District of Columbia’s current Covid regulations. “
The Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel, the site of the Post-March for Life Pink Dinner and Pre-March for Life Capitol Hill 101 session, will require that all participants “aged 12 and over provide either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test (within 24 hours of the event) accompanied by either oral or written religious dispensation or written medical dispensation. The Rose Dinner will take place on the evening of January 21, while Capitol Hill 101 will take place on the morning of January 20.
While the Renaissance will require attendees at Rose Dinner and Capitol Hill 101 to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, a frequently asked questions page posted on the March for Life website notes that ” guests do not need to be vaccinated or to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to stay overnight at the hotel. The pro-life organization reported that under the DC vaccine’s mandate, “people 12 years of age and older must provide proof of identity and proof of having received a COVID injection by January 15” .
“Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include a CDC-issued vaccination card (original, photocopy or digital copy), an vaccination record from a health care provider or public health authority, or an application COVID-19 verification tests (including VaxYes, Clear, Excelsior, MyIR), ”the organization said. While most of the Walk for Life events will go as planned, the Walk for Life exhibit will not be taking place this year.
The FAQ page described the requirements for medical and religious exemptions. While “a medical exemption must be in writing by a health care provider”, “a religious exemption can be stated verbally or provided in writing”. Those requesting one or the other type of exemption must provide proof of a “PCR, antigen [or other test] available in pharmacies.
Walk for Life events that require vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, Capitol Hill 101 and the Rose Dinner will be broadcast live. Those present in person should adhere to the DC mask mandate and wear a mask at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.
Another pro-life group, Students for Life of America, is hosting a national pro-life summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington on January 22. The group created an FAQ page with information on how the city’s immunization mandate would affect the pro-life event.
“As part of the registration / registration process for the National Pro-Life Summit, Students for Life, with the assistance of staff at the Omni Hotel, will verify proof of vaccination or qualification for an exception,” said announced the group. “If you are vaccinated and have proof of vaccination, please plan to present it upon entry. “
After providing details of the mandate as the Walk for Life, Students for Life of America did “we will be offering rapid, free 15-minute on-site screening tests for those using medical or religious exemptions.” The tests will take place “from January 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 7 a.m. on January 22 before registration, until the close of the event”.
“It is strongly recommended that you test in advance on Friday if possible, to avoid delays in the registration process during the event. Regardless of immunization status, a mask requirement will be in place for participants in the event. National pro-life summit in accordance with DC regulations. ”
Pro-life activists allege that the planned vaccine implementation days ahead of the March for Life were not just a coincidence. Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins suggested in a Facebook post that “the mayor of Washington, DC, (who we know is 100% pro-abortion because she literally made us stop the last summer for kicking the sidewalk ‘Black Preborn Lives Matter’ on a public sidewalk) is working hard to get the pro-life movement to cancel our events surrounding the 49th anniversary of Roe deer. “
“WE DON’T WANT… this move is too big,” she promised. Hawkins acknowledged that “many are angry that certain events in the pro-life movement (like the National Pro-Life Summit) are moving forward” despite the vaccine’s mandate.
The pro-life activist urged those upset with the vaccine mandates to “Come to the March and National Summit and spend all your money on hotels and food in Virginia.” Virginia sits just over the Potomac River from Washington, DC, and is home to the two major airports serving the metro area, Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport.
In a statement, Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute called the timing of the vaccine “a deliberate move by a pro-abortion politician to throw an adjustable wrench into a week of pro-life events.” Morse asked, “How could the mayor not know that pro-lifers are among the least likely to be vaccinated, due to concerns about the use of fetal cells in the vaccine?”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for the Christian Post. He can be contacted at: email@example.com