March for Life Draws Thousand of Pro-Lifers to Oppose Abortion, Roe v. Wade
by Steven Ertelt
January 22, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As they have every year since 1973, tens of thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in Washington for the March for Life to mourn a court case that paved the way for as many as 45 million abortions.
Rather than the somber tone one would expect, pro-life advocates are upbeat at their prospects.
They point to polls that show a majority of Americans, including women and young people, are increasingly pro-life. Both the White House and Congress are controlled by pro-life advocates, pro-life legislation passed by Congress and signed by a president has become law for the first time, and, most importantly, abortions are on the decline nationwide.
Tom Reuwer, a TV weatherman from Harrisburg, Pa., who brought his 4-year-old daughter, Keely, told the Associated Press, "I think there is a real turn in the tide on this issue. I think there’s more people who are anti-abortion than pro-abortion."
As he has done in the past, President Bush addressed the crowd just before the march began and was interrupted numerous times for applause.
"During the past three years we’ve made real progress toward building a culture of life in America," Bush said.
He touted some of the pro-life accomplishments of his administration, including signing the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, that protects newborns who survive botched abortion attempts, signing the partial-birth abortion ban, and making sure taxpayer funds don’t go to groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries.
"We must continue with civility and respect to remind our fellow citizens that all life is sacred and worthy of protection," Bush said. "I know as you return to your communities you will redouble your efforts to change hearts and minds, one person at a time. And this is the way we will build a lasting culture of life, a compassionate society in which every child is born into a loving family and protected by law.
Many in the sea of pro-life people walking to the Supreme Court were in college or high school, giving longtime pro-life advocates hope for the future.
A Catholic rally preceded the march and some 15,000 gathered at the MCI center to hear pro-life messages.
Meanwhile, much smaller groups of abortion advocates held rallies and events around town to promote abortion.
Several members of Congress addressed the rally before the march, including: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Reps. Christopher H. Smith (R-New Jersey), W. Todd Akin (R-Missour), Todd Tiahart (R-KS), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Jim Ryun (R-KS), Melissa Hart (R-Pennsylvania), Mike Pence (R-Indiana), Ron Lewis (R-New York), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), Rick Renzi (R-Arizona), Steve King (R-Iowa), Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-Michigan), Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), and Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA).