By Sarah Steighner
Anyone hoping to travel on the evening of January 21 would have turned on the news and immediately sat back on their couch after seeing newscasters barely visible as they reported on Capitol Hill, flights grounded across the country, and record breaking low temperatures. However, this was not the case for pro-life advocates up and down the east coast, and even across the country.
The National Mall was filled with pro-life activists on Wednesday Jan. 22 for the 41st year in a row. Buses of cold but passionate pro-lifers traveled many miles to protest the legalization of abortion that was made legal in the now infamous case of Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Through a crowd of bundled up pro-lifers, a sea of color was noticeable in all the protest signs ranging from the countless churches and university names represented there, to “Gays for Pro-Life,” and Dr. Seuss inspired signs reading “A person’s a person no matter how small.”
The March for Life started with the rally on the National Mall around 1 p.m. In years past, the rally has lasted a few hours with numerous politicians speaking about their support for the pro-life movement, with some self-advocacy words thrown in. This year the rally lasted just around an hour, with fewer but more straight forward and passionate politicians at the podium. Among those speaking was Majority House Leader, Eric Cantor.
Other speakers included doctors who spoke on the physical and mental pain that can come from abortion. Meanwhile, one of the most heart wrenching moments was when a line of very brave women took to the stage with signs reading “I regret my abortion.” The women were greeted with warm applause, and acceptance while one of their leaders gave a speech on how having an abortion negatively affected her. She followed up with information on counseling options offered through different organizations for women who are considering an abortion, or who have had one.
Great emphasis was put on the power of social media to inform others about the scientific aspects of abortion as well as to show support and bring awareness to the movement. Marchers were encouraged to tweet about their experiences at the March for Life and use the hashtag #whywemarch to tweet about their perspectives on the event.
Pope Francis’ tweet posted that day said “I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable.” The tweet was read to the crowd and received very enthusiastic cheers in approval.
Marchers then took to the streets and began the trek to Capitol Hill. Attempting to keep warm and spread the movement’s message, protesters chanted things such as “Hey hey Roe v. Wade, how many kids have you killed today?” and “We love babies, yes we do. We love babies, how ‘bout you?”
Some groups were stationed along the march hoping to draw attention to tens of thousands of marchers passing. One location in particular had large screens set up showing gruesome pictures of aborted babies. Farther along in the march a group of men and women stood proudly holding signs that said “Conceived from rape, and I love my life!”
The march ended in front of the Supreme Court, where more groups were stationed and other masses of people congregated. Perhaps most noticeable was a large blue banner that solemnly read “Remember the Unborn.”