You may not have heard about it – the broadcast networks gave it only 46 seconds of news time – but hundreds of thousands of anti-abortion protestors from all walks of life gathered on the national mall Wednesday to march to the Supreme Court
At the 41st annual March for Life, hundreds of youth groups, families, churches and religious leaders were there, as expected. But also college groups, women’s health organizations, Latino groups, and even pro-life gay alliances were in attendance, along with a number of U.S. Senators and Representatives, to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Video Below:
Jeanne Monahan took over the leadership of the annual event, after the passing of it’s founder Nellie Gray, last year. Monahan has tried to organize this particular march to be more encompassing of all pro-life views. A broad line up of speakers included Catholic leaders, Democrat and Republican Representatives, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, and Jim Bob Duggar, of the TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting.”
Monahan’s opening speech denounced the so-called “war on women” as a myth; in reality, she said, there is actually a “war on motherhood,” in this country. Monahan called having a child, “a miracle” and a “beautiful gift” and said adoption was a true representative of the heroic, unselfish nature of motherhood. Then she gave this startling statistic on the realities of abortion and adoption:
“1.21 million babies annually are aborted in this country. This should be compared to only 15-20,000 domestic infant adoptions. There’s something that’s wrong, when for every 1 baby that’s adopted in this country, 64 are aborted.”
The theme of this year’s march was the noble option of adoption instead of abortion, in cases of unwanted pregnancies. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, and Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, both adoptive parents, urged women thinking of abortion to adopt instead. Several “I was conceived in rape” signs were seen around the march, and abortion survivors gave their testimonies in front of the Supreme Court steps.
Again, the March received only minimal news coverage – something veteran demonstrators are all too used to. Lila Rose, president of pro-life group Live Action expressed the frustration, saying, “When you see every year without fail in the coldest degrees hundreds of thousands of people, lots of them young people, descending on Washington, D.C., the greatest civil rights demonstration in American history year after year, where is the mainstream coverage?”
What improved attention the March does receive is largely thanks to the rise of new forms of communication. “We’re seeing a little bit here or there,” Rose said. “New and social media is rising up because traditional media is politically biased, usually, or they have their own ideas – ideologies – and it prevents them from reporting real news. So we've got to continue to be the media.”
Note: Kristine Marsh also authored this report.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.