by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief
Thousands marched on the National Mall of Seventh Street and Washington Monument to the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, January 22 for the 41st annual March for Life, the largest anti-abortion event.
March for Life is against all cases of abortion. The event takes place for an hour on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision. Not even the frigid temperatures nearing ten degrees could hold back these protesters.
The theme of this year’s event was adoption. The president of March for Life Education and Defense fund, Jeanna Monahan, said the theme was chosen to show more empathy to mothers. The transition from judgement to love is currently in process with the anti-abortion movement.
Instead of using harsh and graphic images on signs, the new movement has a gentler approach. The signs showed pictures of a smiling Pope Francis and displayed slogans like “We are the pro-life generation.”
However, some are skeptical that this new movement will do much to get more supporters on the side of the anti-abortionists.
Some leaders who have been working this organization for 30 or 40 years were surprised at how many younger people showed up to support the cause. Many of the marchers were high school and college members of groups from parochial schools and Catholic universities; most of the marchers have a Catholic background. The organization hopes to become more diverse over time.
“I think it would be a really good thing for the organization to have a better variety of supporters. It seems to be too biased to make a big enough impact in our society, but maybe overtime things will change for them,” says senior Lisa Sowinski.
There have been many restrictions on abortion laws in different states. Last year, the House of Representatives passed a law that made abortions after 20 weeks illegal, but it is still pending in the Senate.
Planned Parenthood stated that half of the women of reproductive age live in states that have been hit by restrictions. There were 70 total restrictions made during 2013 in 22 states.
According to a Gallup poll, 80 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the third trimester.
One marcher, Brendan O’Rourke, 28, says, “We can’t all agree when life begins, but there’s a good chance there’s a life in there. It seems better to be on the safe side.”
After this year’s march, many media outlets acknowledged the fact that the March for Life organization does not get much news coverage. Marchers are generally upset that they protest in freezing weather only to get 46 seconds of coverage in total on big league news outlets; ABC dedicated 24 seconds, NBC dedicated 22 seconds, and CBS did not acknowledge the march at all. Last year, March for Life only had 17 seconds of coverage on the news.
“I didn’t even know this march existed, never mind such a big deal, but I think it’s great that these protesters continue to fight for their cause and try to get their voices heard,” says an anonymous source.
Did you know about the March for Life organization? What do you think about their new changes?