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Katie Shaw speaks at the 2022 March for LifeYouTube / screenshot

WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) — Catholic speaker Katie Shaw, a powerful advocate for the unborn and people with disabilities, delivered a heartfelt speech at the 2022 March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Friday, earning massive applause from a hugely supportive audience.

“I’m 36 years old and I have Down Syndrome,” Shaw told the audience gathered to hear speeches ahead of the 49th annual March for Life, amid a wave of applause from the pro-lifers.

“I am happy to be here today in the fight for the dignity of human life for all unborn babies diagnosed with a disability or not,” she said, affirming this year’s March for Life theme, “Equality Begins in the Womb.”

“[Equality] started the day of conception, when God gave us our souls,” said Shaw, who serves on the board of Down Syndrome Indiana and frequently meets with politicians to lobby for pro-life legislation.

“I even got to speak to our past pro-life president, President Trump, at the White House,” Shaw told the enthusiastic crowd.

“I am proud to be here to march to show the world that people with a disability or not need to have the chance to show the world God’s plan for them,” she continued, arguing that the unborn “need a chance to live their wonderful lives outside the womb.”

The pro-life activist told the audience her parents discovered she had serious medical problems and Down Syndrome during the fifth month of pregnancy, but “never thought about aborting me.”

“They worked and planned with the doctors to help me have my wonderful life,” Shaw said. “Now, here I am, 36 years later, contributing to society, working full time, enjoying family, friends, playing sports, and participating in a book club. And, speaking out with you for the unborn.”

“As you can see, my equal life that started in the womb was meant to be. Many people don’t know that there’s a waiting list – a waiting list – for babies with Down Syndrome, to be adopted,” said Shaw, whose work in the pro-life movement particularly focuses on defending the lives of unborn babies with Down Syndrome, of whom at least 70% are estimated to be aborted in the United States.

“They are aborted and their equality ends. It makes me very sad to think of all the friends I have that I might have lost if their parents did not believe equality starts in the womb,” Shaw said, adding it makes her even more sad to think of those people she never got to meet because their lives were snuffed out before they could be born.

“Friends, you and I have been given the chance to fight for equality in the womb, and by working together, we can make [a] difference in the world,” she said. “As we march today, let us remember Psalm 139: ‘You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, that I know full well. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them had yet existed.’”

“Thank you, God bless all of you,” Shaw said, adding with a smile, “You guys ready to march?”

The 2022 March for Life may be among the most consequential for the pro-life movement.

Pro-life and pro-abortion advocates alike recognize that Roe v. Wade, the infamous 1973 Supreme Court ruling which found a “constitutional right to abortion,” could be overturned as early as this spring if the Court rules in favor of the pro-life side in the much anticipated Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs case in December, 2021. The justices are expected to render their decision by June.