Jean Marie Davis was desperate when she visited a pregnancy center eight years ago. She readily accepted Jesus Christ as her savior when a staff member shared John 3:16, but her needs were still immense.
“Now what?” she asked. “I’m homeless and pregnant. How are you going to help me?”
Davis shared her compelling testimony along with a wide range of speakers—from politicians to pastors to former pro football players—at the 51st Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The March, held on January 19, honored the work of pregnancy centers and maternity homes, focusing on the need to care for mother and child during the nine months of pregnancy and in the years after.
Davis told the crowd exactly how hopeless she was before finding the help she needed.
“I wanted to die,” she said. “I was hooked on crystal meth. I was trafficked from the age of two to the age of 29. I wanted my [baby] dead. I had no life.”
Things changed dramatically, however, when she met Phyllis Phelps, a client services manager at a New Hampshire pregnancy center. She opened her heart to Jesus and found a new, abundant life.
“Phyllis Phelps saved my life,” Davis said. “She got me into a program. And because I challenged her with the question (“How are you going to help me?), she opened a home (for women) called House of Hope in New Hampshire.”
Davis gave birth to her son and eventually worked under Phelps at House of Hope. Two years ago, she was named executive director of Branches Pregnancy Resource Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. Branches PRC is part of the Care Net network.
“We do life with women who are struggling,” she said. “We are here to help. We're here for the babies. We're here to save souls and save lives.”
Davis’ amazing story underscored the theme of the March, “Pro-life: With Every Woman, For Every Child.” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said the “often untold story” of pregnancy centers and maternity homes are the heartbeat and backbone of the pro-life movement.
“More than 3,000 pregnancy centers nationwide offer help to women facing unexpected pregnancies every single year. Not only that, but they are wildly popular—83% of Americans support pregnancy research centers,” Mancini said.
“While the false narrative persists that pro-life Americans ignore babies after birth, the real story is that pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes substantively support women, their children, and their families before, and long after the babies are born, walking with them every step of the way.”
Other speakers at the March for Life included Congressman Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House; Benjamin Watson, former NFL tight end; Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family; Pastor Greg Laurie and his wife Cathe, of Harvest Christian Fellowship; Bishop John Abdalah, Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops (USA); Antonio de Mello, Community of Jesus, Brazil; Aishia Taylor, author of Navigating the “Impossible”: A Survival Guide for Single Moms From Pregnancy Through the First Year of Motherhood; and Dominick Tolentino, Penn State University senior and president of Students for Life Club.
Speaker of the House Johnson said he was a product of an unplanned pregnancy.
“In January of 1972, exactly one year before Roe v. Wade, my parents, who were just teenagers at the time, chose life. I am very profoundly grateful that they did.”
Johnson spoke about the importance of building a culture that cherishes and protects life.
“This is a critical time to help all moms who are facing unplanned pregnancies, to work with foster children, and to help families who are adopting…” he said.
Pastor Greg Laurie, the last speaker, said the life issue was personal to him because he was born as the result of an unplanned pregnancy.
“My mother was married and divorced seven times,” he said. “She had a fling with some guy in Long Beach (CA), and I was conceived. Thankfully, my mother carried me to term…but it sent me on a search very early in life. I wondered, ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ ‘Why do I have this big hole inside?’ I never had a father growing up…”
Laurie’s testimony is chronicled in his book, Jesus Revolution, which was made into a hit movie in 2023. The “Jesus Revolution” of the late 1960s and early 1970s is recognized as the last spiritual awakening in the United States.
At the March for Life, Laurie prayed that the Lord would do it again.
“We pray for young women who find themselves pregnant, that they would carry these babies to term and raise them or put them up for adoption. We pray that we, as the Church, would be there to support these mothers…” he said. “Lord, we pray for a great spiritual awakening to sweep the United States of America. We need another revival.”