Hundreds of Thousands Gather for Record-Breaking March for Life
More than 500,000 people are attending today’s March for Life in a massive attendance that could be well higher than that estimate and set records for the annual pro-life event challenging the mantra of unlimited abortion.
Buses from around the country, mostly chartered by Catholic schools and organizations, brought groups of people to the Mall for a pre-march rally in which politicians, religious leaders and activists decried the 55 million abortions they said had been performed since the Roe v. Wade decision.
The archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, read a message posted early Friday by Pope Benedict XVI from his personal Twitter account: “I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared on a giant video screen and vowed to work for passage of a bill banning taxpayer funding for abortions. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) told the crowd that she would fight for a bill she has introduced that would prohibit family planning grants from going to groups that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, called President Obama, who has stated his commitment to protecting abortion as a constitutional right, the “abortion president.”
“Know this, Mr. President,” Smith said to loud cheers from the crowd of protesters. “We will never quit.”
The huge crowd is expected to exceed last year’s 400,000 participants as they mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that, along with an accompanying ruling in Doe v. Bolton, allowed abortion on demand in all 50 states.
The official theme of this year’s march is “40 = 55M,” an equation meant to remember the enormous toll on human life that has resulted in nearly 56 million people losing their lives.