Divided by Abortion, United by Feminism

IN 1942, 71 years before last week’s Pentagon decision allowing women on the front lines of combat, the United States government established the Women’s Army Corps, with Athena as its insignia, and welcomed our country’s first female military recruits.

One of these pioneering women was a corporal from Big Spring, Tex., named Nellie Gray. After the war ended, Gray finished college (with an assist from the G.I. Bill) and moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for decades at the State Department and the Department of Labor, earning a law degree at night from Georgetown University along the way. Then the social upheavals of the 1970s arrived, the soldier-turned-bureaucrat-turned-lawyer helped found one of America’s most enduring mass movements, establishing an annual protest march that continues to the present day.

That protest is the March for Life, the annual rally against Roe v. Wade.