Up to 500,000 mostly young people are queued up to rally for unborn children on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 22, in what has become the largest ongoing civil rights march in American history.
The backdrop to the 42nd March for Life is the increasing despair and even desperation of abortion advocates best represented by an unsigned editorial in Tuesday’s New York Times, entitled “A Perilous Year for Abortion Rights.”
The editorial laments, “The start of 2015 finds no letup in the attacks on a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own childbearing decisions.”
The Times and other abortion advocates note the huge number of state restrictions on abortion providers that have resulted in the closure of dozens of abortion clinics.
Pro-life legislatures have passed laws requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at the local hospital, something that is fairly easy for most doctors but appears to be difficult for the more marginal abortion doctors. Legislatures have also required abortion clinics to bring their physical plants up to the level of surgical centers, something that many clinics have not been able to afford.
The Times says, “Defenders of abortion rights have had their hands full trying to block or at least minimize new restrictive laws, totaling 231, according to the Guttmacher Institute, exceeding the total for the entire previous decade.”
The Times raises the alarm about the new Congress, too. “Already, six bills reviving old, bad ideas have been introduced in the new Congress, including one that would deny federal funds for family planning to any organization that provided abortions.”
Of immediate concern to abortion advocates is the vote the House will take on the day of the March that would limit abortion to the 20th week of pregnancy, the time at which the unborn child is said to feel pain. The bill allows for a health exception but narrows it from the existing law.
What abortion advocates will see on Thursday is an increasingly energized and increasingly youthful pro-life movement.
Other events associated with the March for Life is a Catholic Mass that morning at the Verizon Center that usually packs the rafters at 18,000 students and an all-day conference on Friday hosted by Students for Life that brings in 2,000 students every year.
The last pro-abortion march on Washington, D.C., was eleven years ago.