Washington, D.C. — Hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans from across the country gathered at the nation’s capital today to participate in the annual March for Life, which was expected to break attendance records.
While last year saw an estimated 400,000 attendees, organizers anticipated that thousands more would arrive to mark the 40th year of Roe v. Wade. Prior to marching to the steps of the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, participants rallied on the National Mall, where they listened to a variety of special guests that included pro-life members of the House and Senate. Special speakers at the rally included Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council and others. House Speaker John Boehner, and Illinois Representative Dan Lipinski delivered video addresses to the crowd.
“I believe that great nations and great civilizations spring from a people who have a moral compass,” Senator Rand Paul said to those gathered in the sub-freezing temperatures. “Our nation is adrift, adrift in a wilderness where right and wrong have become subservient to a hedonism of the moment. I believe our country is in need of a revival.”
“Since 1973, more than 55 million children have been killed by abortion — a staggering loss of children’s precious lives — a death toll that equates to the entire population of England,” Representative Chris Smith lamented. “Someday, future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society could have failed to protect the innocent and inconvenient. They will wonder how and why a Nobel Peace Prize-winning president who spoke eloquently about caring, cherishing and safeguarding all our children [during his inaugural address] could also simultaneously have been the ‘abortion president.'”
“Know this, Mr. President, we will never quit,” Smith continued, drawing cheers during his speech. “In adversity, our faith and trust in God is tested, but it also deepens and overcomes and forges an indomitable yet humble spirit.”
Organizer Jeanne Monahan said that one of the reasons the turnout was exceptionally large this year is because of mounting concerns over Barack Obama’s pro-abortion views.
“The recent election has left pro-lifers wanting an outlet to express their strongly-held views to their legislators,” Monahan told One News Now, “as I think the HHS mandate, which includes abortion-inducing drugs, also has.”
While many traveled to the March for Life by the busload, some cities also held their own pro-life event during the past week to mark the 40th year of Roe v. Wade. In San Diego, an estimated 3,000 people marched through the streets on Saturday as a demonstration of their support for the right to life.
“History will be hard on pro-abortionists, just as it is hard on those who were pro-slavery. Why? Because they were morally wrong,” Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in La Mesa declared to those gathered. “There are tours in Germany of the concentration camps, of the killing centers. Someday there will be tours of the abortuaries in America, the present day killing centers. And tourists will ask, ‘Where was the Church? Why were people silent?’ I do not want them to be referring to me. I will not be silent.”
Hundreds also gathered in Billings, Montana to take a stand for the unborn.
“You can’t have any other rights unless you’re born. And I’m just here to support the unborn and to try to hopefully let other people know that there’s other options,” Billings resident Brian Etchart told television station KULR. “And this happens each and every day, and it’s happened for 40 years, and most of us are so busy going about our daily lives that we don’t even think about it.”
Approximately 1,500 marched in Denver, Colorado on Saturday while dozens took to the streets in Quincy, Illinois on Sunday. Numerous other cities organized gatherings as well.
As previously reported, the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973, and was handed down by a Republican majority. Out of the seven justices that ruled in favor of Roe, a case that dealt with an admitted false claim of rape, five were Republicans. Judge Harry Blackmun, nominated by Richard Nixon, wrote the majority opinion.
“The Constitution does not define ‘person’ in so many words,” he wrote. “[I]n nearly all these instances [where it is cited], the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application. … In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”
However, he noted that if it could be proven that unborn babies truly are persons, abortion could come to an end in America.