By Sarah Steighner
WASHINGTON D.C. – Gregorian chants, prayers, and enthusiastic pro-life mantras could be heard ringing throughout the streets of Washington from the National Mall to Capitol Hill for the annual March for Life. The 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade court ruling prompted hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists to rally in protest of abortion.
This year’s March for Life theme, “Every Life is a Gift,” was reflected on hundreds of signs that read “Defend Life” and “Every Life Deserves a Lifetime.”
The rally kicked off at the National Mall at noon. Amongst the speakers were Congressional Representatives including Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Daniel Lipinski (D-III.), and Tim Scott (R- S.C.).
After the rally, the streets flooded with protesters as the march began. Along the march route, some groups set up their banners and stood along the sidewalk so that all could see their messages. This included a group proudly flying the Canadian flag with signs reading, “Canada Stands with Pro-Life America.” A more somber stretch of the march involved a sign that said, “Genocide Pictures Ahead” followed by large banners displaying the bloody aspects of the abortion process.
More groups were stationed in front of the Supreme Court, which was the last part of the march before crowds dispersed. Amongst these groups were a few dozen pro-choice advocates. While solely a peaceful demonstration, the March for Life was lined with a prominent police presence.
However, the only instance in which police were called to action was when the few pro-choice advocates purposefully moved on to the street and blocked the swarms of pro-life activists trying to march through. Those who refused the U.S. Capitol Police’s instructions to move back to the sidewalk, were restrained and arrested.
The day of the March for Life also coincided as Congress voted on two abortion bills. The first bill proposed to prohibit federal funds for most means of abortion coverage. A 242-179 vote by the House, passed. However, a second bill proposing to ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy was not passed.
Pro-life efforts continue across the country, including through organizations such as the 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh. A kick-off event will be taking place Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church located at the intersection of Liberty and Smithfield in Downtown Pittsburgh. This event starts the 40 Days for Life campaign that continues from Feb. 18 to March 29. For additional information, contact Nikki Bruni at 412926-9413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.