Thousands protest abortion
WASHINGTON — Thousands of abortion opponents confronted wind chills in the single digits on Wednesday to rally and march on Capitol Hill to protest legalized abortion, with a signal of support from Pope Francis.
The annual March for Life is held every January on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. The event draws many Catholic high school and college students from across the country for a series of events and prayer vigils that leads up to a rally and march on the snow-covered National Mall.
Francis, who has emphasized a broader focus on poverty beyond divisive issues, sent his support for the anti-abortion march.
“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers,” the pope tweeted. “May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable.”
President Obama issued a statement on Wednesday, saying the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is a chance to “recommit ourselves to the decision's guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.”
The president also said the nation should resolve to protect a woman's access to health care and her right to privacy and to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a lobbying group, said, “It's time to seize this vital opportunity to reclaim the rights that Roe recognized and the protections it established more than four decades ago.”
The theme of this year's march is “Adoption: A Noble Decision,” as an alternative to abortion, organizers said.
Abortion protesters came from Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania and beyond.
Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who sought the Republican nomination for president, said the anti-abortion movement is in transition, more one “of love, not of judgment.”
The crowd included many young people, including high school and college students from Chicago, Cleveland and elsewhere. Many held signs that referred to Twitter: “#TeamLife.”
While there were mostly cheers and upbeat chants, the crowd booed when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said there had been an expansion of abortion coverage in the nation's health care overhaul.
Beverly Miller, 39, of Mankato, Minn., made her first trip to join the march with her 15-year-old son and youths from their church. Her local diocese rented buses and drove 20 hours to the nation's capital.
“When we get together in a group like this and we see that there's hundreds of thousands of other people like us, it gives us strength and courage and hope that we aren't alone. If we stand together, we really can make a difference,” Miller said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Source: Fire at black church in South Carolina wasn’t arson
- Counties defy same-sex marriage ruling
- New York prison chief, 11 employees put on leave in escape
- Charter lapses for Export-Import Bank; conservatives vow to block revival in House
- U.S., Cuba to announce plan to open embassies
- Supreme Court to take up mandated dues for public employees unions in next term
- NSA resumes collection of phone data
- Nike’s chairman plans to step aside
- Ten Commandments monument orderered removed from Oklahoma Capitol grounds
- FDA review of OxyContin abuse-deterrent version put on hold by maker
- White House intruders beware: Spikes planned