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Half Million Pro-lifers Protest
55 Million Abortions

Margaret Galitzin
A multitude of more than a half million descended on Washington DC to brave the cold and snow on January 25, 2013. This massive number of people was there to protest the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, allowing abortion on demand in all 50 States. It was a record-setting turnout in spite of the subfreezing temperature - 23-degree weather – and occasional snow flurries.

march for Life and the numbers 40=55M

The theme 40=55M signifies 40 years of Roe vs. Wade = 55 million abortions

The official theme of this year’s march was “40 = 55M,” an equation meant to remember the enormous toll on human life that has resulted in more than 55 million babies who were killed in the womb.

Schools, colleges, Church groups and individuals showed up to voice their support for the pro-life cause. Speakers at the rally before the march pointed out the large number of youth participating in the 2013 March for Life. It was estimated that 80% of the demonstrators were youths.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said that “the undeniable fact is that [because of Roe v. Wade] nearly a third of my generation is missing. We are missing brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, husbands and wives.”

However, she continued, “this generation is determined to set it right. We're products of the late 1980s and ‘90s: We've seen the ultrasounds of our siblings, Googled ‘abortion’ and seen the bloody images, and sat with a friend as she cried about her abortion.”

March for life demonstration 2013

Pro-lifers enter the Stop Patriarchy ranks shouting 'We are the pro-life generation'

“Just look at this crowd,” said another youth. “It’s estimated we are more than a half million strong here today. But that is only nine-tenths of one percent of the number of human beings that have been aborted since Roe v. Wade. My generation is pro-life, we’re getting stronger every year, and we aren’t going away.”

As the marchers trekked up Constitution Avenue toward the Supreme Court, some were met by a cluster of pro-abortion demonstrators carry orange signs reading 'Abortion on Demand without Apology' organized by the feminist group Stop Patriarchy. A contingent of them were on the Supreme Court steps on January 22, the day Roe Vs. Wade was decided 40 years ago, to commemorate the supposed victory for women.

At one point, pro-life demonstrators mingled with the small faction, using a bullhorn to chant, "We are the pro life generation." On this day, the belligerent, angry voices of the pro-death faction were silent.

A biased media coverage

Again this year the mainstream media downplayed the March for Life in Washington DC. In face of more than a half million organized, peaceful demonstrators who marched in the Nation’s Capitol, closing off major streets for hours, news coverage was minimal with an attempt to downplay the numbers.

march for life portestors holding signs

Young and old braved the cold to make their voices heard, but the media hardly heard

March for life protestors

A record breaking crowd estimated between 500,000 and 650,000

march for life crowds, 2013

Most news outlets reported only that “thousands” came to Washington to participate in today’s silent march. For example, the New York Times headline on the March for Life reads “Thousands March to Oppose Abortion,” although the lead paragraph upped that estimate to “tens of thousands.”

Dan Gainor, spokesman for the Media Research Center, said that this article was the first coverage the NYT has given the March in six years, even though last year the crowd was estimated at 400,000.

While most major news outlets gave a minimum of coverage to the March for Life, they gave maximum space to the small gun control march that took place in Washington DC the next day. It was estimated to have drawn only about 1,000 people. The bias is palpable.

Further, following the rules set by the pro-choice movement, most of the major media anchor reports carefully avoided using the word “life.” The pro-lifers are called “anti-abortion activists” or “pro-choice opponents.” Even the event’s name, the March for Life, is rarely mentioned.

The Washington Post and The New York Times went so far as to introduce Richard Doerflinger, whose official title is the Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities, as the “Associate Director of Anti-Abortion Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

Even though coverage of the 2013 March for Life exceeded that of previous years, Dan Gainor, a spokesman for the Media Research Center, said the overall media attention given to the March for Life was far from adequate, given the size of the event.

Where was Obama?

The pro-abortion President clearly stated his thoughts on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade on January 22, reaffirming “its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country.”

A March for life protestor covered with propoganda

A call to end 40 years of Roe vs. Wade; below, the presence of women regretting their abortions 

Women holding signs saying 'I regret my abortion'

But where was Obama and how did his administration respond to the half-million pro-lifers who appeared in the Capitol three days later on January 25? Like last year, the doors of White House were closed to any representatives of the half-million large march. Apparently Obama was “too busy” to even be in Washington DC to acknowledge the pro-life presence. Instead, he was visiting Cedar Rapids, Iowa, touring the Convyor Engineering and Manufacturing facility before delivering a speech on jobs stimulus.

The pro-choice Guttmacher Institute found that four in 10 unintended pregnancies in the U.S. end in abortion. One third of American women will have an abortion by age 45. While the procedure is decreasing overall, it is up 18% among poor women. Pro-life marchers are fearful that those numbers may rise given the return of a staunch pro-choice president indifferent to their concerns.

I cannot close this commentary without saying that the March for Life is a noble initiative that should be encouraged. I believe that the real solution, however, is for the due authorities to reverse the law that approved abortion. Catholics and pro-lifers should study the best way to effectively pressure their representatives toward this end, with no compromises. Otherwise, these annual mourning events may take on the air of a defeatist complaint against a consummated fact. If this mentality were to prevail, even protesting, pro-lifers would be contributing to keep the law in force.

march for life 2013 on Constitution Avenue

Pro-lifers go down Constitution Ave. toward the Supreme Court in the 2013 March for Life

Sources:
Abortion opponents march in Washington,” Fox News online, January 25, 2013
Media attention on March for Life criticized as inadequate,” EWTN News online, February 2, 2013


Posted February 8, 2013

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