An estimated 200,000-400,000 people took part in the Washington March for Life on Jan. 22 to commemorate the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Organizers say it was larger than the record 2009 crowd. This year’s theme was “Stand Up Now! Unite for the Life Principles. No Exception! No Compromise!” and the pro-life witness urged an end to the slaughter that has taken more than 50 million lives since abortion was legalized in 1973.
The Examiner.com reported that the crowd “filled 7th Street W, Constitution Avenue, and 1st Street E to the limit of visibility.” The Washington Times reported “hundreds of thousands,” OneNewsNow reported 250,000, the Christian Post reported 300,000 and EWTN reported 400,000.
Regardless, it was more than the “thousands” reported by CNN and the Washington Post. The crowd was majority youth as hundreds of high schools and universities brought busloads of students. LifeSiteNews.com reported, “All along the route hundreds of banners from high schools, colleges, religious orders, and pro-life groups, could be seen leading their companies, with several marching bands keeping a lively cadence throughout the throng.”
Meanwhile, the mainstream media reported that “tens of thousands” of “abortion opponents” took part in the march (Washington Post) or insinuated that there were an equal numbers of pro-life and pro-abortion protestors (CNN). Yet, march participants told The Interim that it was difficult to find pro-abortion demonstrators except for a few dozen feminists in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Still, Rick Sanchez host CNN seemed befuddled, unable to recognize which side was organizing the massive march as he commented while video of people holding pro-life signs passed by the camera.
In a story filed hours before the march began, Newsweek’s Krista Gesaman reported that the “majority of the participants are in their 60s and were the original pioneers either for or against the case” and that there was a near total absence of young women. Yet, nearly every media photo and video shows a steady stream of students, mostly female.
Anglican priest Martin Mims opened the march with a prayer. “We gather today to pray for our leaders,” he began. “We pray especially for those who even now are making decisions about providing healthcare for all our people.”
Rep. Christopher Smith (R, N.J.) also addressed the crowd before the march and said the massive turnout was motivated by the pro-life movement’s desire to thwart President Barack Obama’s anti-life health care plans which will “use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for the first time since the 1970s via forcing insurance coverage.” He said if the Democrats’ health care reform passes, it would be “the single greatest expansion of abortion since the tragic Roe v Wade court ruling 37 years ago.”
Smith called Obama “the abortion president” but he also said the movement prays for him, “even as we tenaciously fight your anti-life policies.”
Nellie Gray, 84, president of the March for Life, told the crowd that the reason hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers braved the January cold in the U.S. capital, was to “get the president to hear us. We’ve got to get the justices to hear us, and we’ve got to get Congress to hear us.”