WASHINGTON – For nine years Mary Beth Brown has marched down Constitution Avenue in the bitter January cold. And she will continue marching until the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade.
“We're here until no more babies die,” said Brown,standing in the middle of thousands of pro-choice protesters rallying behind the White House on the Ellipse Thursday. The 40-year-old special education teacher from Stow,Ohio,cheered with six other family members as Republican politicians motivated participants of the 30th annual March for Life.
After the rally,protesters marched to the Supreme Court.
This year's march exceeded the expectations of Terrence Scanlon,first vice-president of March for Life,who said that it was the biggest march he'd attended.
Brown's 9-year-old daughter,Maggie,has accompanied her mother and grandmother in the march since infancy. Cheeks rosy red from the chilling wind,Maggie said,“I think we will overturn Roe v. Wade some day.”
Along with the Browns,groups of families,schools,churches,activists and other pro-life supporters became quiet when they heard the first speaker,President Bush,who called the crowd from Roswell,N.M. His talk was broadcast over speakers.
Quoting the Declaration of Independence,Bush said,“The right of life does not come from the government,it comes from the creator of life.”
After Bush highlighted his administration's support of pro-life legislation,the crowd cheered as the president continued,“Human life is a creation,not a commodity.”
Wednesday,on the eve of the 31st anniversary of Roe,the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus held a press conference on Capitol Hill. Caucus members said that Bush could reverse the decision with one Supreme Court appointment.
“A woman's right to choose clings to a narrow 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter,D-N.Y.,caucus co-chair. “That's why this election is so important.”
Thursday,numerous speakers took the stage to persuade voters to keep Bush in the White House for a second term so that reversing Roe would remain feasible. Many expressed their gratitude to Bush after eight years of roadblocks from the Clinton administration.
Rep. Steve Chabot,R-Ohio,who told the crowd it was his birthday,said,“Thank goodness my parents chose life.”
Chabot,who has spoken at the rally every year since 1994,said that many members of Congress are working hard to stop abortion. Chabot was one of several legislators to speak at the 90-minute rally before the march.
Rep. Chris Smith,R-N.J.,said,“Women deserve better than abortion.
… Like you,Americans want the abortion holocaust to end.”
One such American,Mike M. Moreni,66,said this was his fifth march. Moreni and his wife,Catherine,63,carried signs that said: “Face it: abortion kills.”
“We came to express our views on this terrible thing: abortion,” said Mike Moreni,a retired carpenter from Kintnersville,Pa. The father of four children and grandfather of nine said he became more aware of being pro-life after retiring.
Now he and his wife protest at a Planned Parenthood clinic every Friday in Warminster,Pa. They said they peacefully carry signs in front of the center as members of the American Life League.
This year's March for Life theme,“Build Unity on Life Principles,” prompted Nellie Gray,president of March for Life,to criticize the Supreme Court's interpretation of what it means to be a person.
“The Supreme Court does not understand that a pre-born human is a person,” Gray said.
In addition,Gray said that the United States is “allowing feminist abortionists to do the very things that we have gone to foreign countries to stop: the international killing of innocent people.”