Pro-life supporters gathered on the National Mall in Washington on Friday as part of the March for Life, an annual rally held in remembrance of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade that permitted the practice of abortions.
The event, normally scheduled for January 22nd, was postponed until Friday due to the presidential inauguration. Despite the mid-20 temperatures and light snow, estimates of 200,000-400,000 demonstrators traveled from around the country to attend the event.
Sen. Rand Paul and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum gave speeches at the rally, in addition to a prerecorded video by House Speaker John Boehner, who spoke about the importance of advancing the pro-life movement.
Other prominent members of the pro-life platform were also in attendance, including Live Action’s founder Lila Rose who has received praise for her vigilant investigative work. “Even during Obama’s first term we saw some of the most pro-life legislation at the state level. What we can do at the state and local level is pass legislation that’s not clogged by a bureaucratic Washington,” Rose said.
President of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund Jeanne Monahan addressed the crowd enthusiastically: "We are winning with young people. I see it right in front of me today." Monahan organized the event this year for the first time following the unfortunate passing of Nellie Gray last August. Gray founded the March for Life movement and was remembered in a video tribute during the rally. Monahan later spoke about her activism in the pro-life movement.
“One thing that has continued to resonate with me is that I have people who are close to me and have made an abortion decision and have regretted it profoundly,” she said. “I watch my friends suffer which led me to take the stand that abortion hurts the life of the child but hurts the mom as well.”
The rally lasted from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM, followed by pro-lifers leaving the National Mall to begin their trek to the Supreme Court. Police bikers led the crowd through closed off streets and waving onlookers, as marchers chanted and sang for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“There’s so much energy out there from people who want to connect with this movement it’s the issue of our day,” Rose said. “There’s a lot of growth that’s going to happen this year which is exciting. We’re committed to putting the truth out there because there’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of lack of awareness about what abortion has done to our society”.