Anti-abortion marchers in Washington protest 40 years of legal abortion

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:23pm EST

1 of 2. Participants in the annual March for Life rally pass the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, January 25, 2013. The anti-abortion marchers on Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion, and Pope Benedict expressed support for the demonstrators.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Anti-abortion activists marched in Washington on Friday to protest the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the United States 40 years ago.

Condemning abortion as an abuse of human rights, people from across the country participated in the March for Life that takes place annually in the nation's capital. The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling on January 22, 1973, legalized abortion.

Marchers carrying signs that read "Defend Life" and "De-fund Planned Parenthood" crowded the National Mall in freezing temperatures to hear politicians and activists reject abortion and say that opposition to it was rising.

"Abortion truly is the human rights abuse of today," said March of Life director Jeanne Monahan. "The new normal is to be pro-life."

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told the protestors that opponents of abortion "stand for love in a world of death."

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, speaking by video, said he backed bipartisan bills barring government funding for abortion and favored the Hyde Amendment, which largely bans federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape or incest.

Chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go" as they marched under a gray sky and eventually snow, the demonstrators then went to the Supreme Court.

Pope Benedict voiced his support in a tweet that read, "I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life."

Organizers had no immediate estimate of the size of the crowd, and U.S. Capitol Police declined to give one.

A recent Pew poll showed that most Americans are opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Battles over abortion have largely shifted from federal courts to statehouses.

One marcher, Brad Basinger, 56, of Manassas, Virginia, said that after 40 years he was losing hope that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. "The moral fabric of our nation is starting to slip. This won't happen in my lifetime," said Basinger, who was attending his seventh consecutive March for Life.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington and Phil Pullella in Rome; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Toni Reinhold)

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Comments (2)
AlfredReaud wrote:
Though I don’t believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control, de-funding Planned Parenthood is one of the stupidest positions of the anti-abortion crowd that one can come up with.

It’s almost like a vindictive punishment against those women that dare to take control of their reproductive rights. The only thing that shutting down Planned Parenthood would hurt is womens health, and mostly poor non-Caucasian women at that.

America, for the most part, doesn’t go backwards sociologically, so I would tend to agree with Brad Basinger. Further, abortion is a private matter, between the doctor, the patient, and God. Don’t judge, etc., let God take care of it. Finally, abortion has always been available to women, since before the idea of patriarchal Deity. Legislation won’t change that…

Jan 26, 2013 7:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
MetalHead8 wrote:
@AlfedReaud, you pretty much hit the nail on the head

Jan 26, 2013 9:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
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