March for Life Attracts Pro-Life Activists

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Thirty-five years ago today, the Supreme Court legalized abortion with the Roe vs. Wade ruling.

Watch more from Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, following this report.

And every year since then on Roe's anniversary, thousands of Christians, especially Roman Catholics, gather for the "March for Life" rally in Washington, D.C., to call for an end to what many consider a quiet holocaust.

Tens of Thousands March

Braving threats of sleet and freezing rain, tens of thousands of people marched from the mall to the Supreme Court.

They waved their signs, listened to their leaders, and a piped in phone call from President Bush, who has addressed the march by phone every year since taking office.

"Thirty-five years ago today the United States Supreme Court declared and decided that under the law an unborn child is not considered a person, but we know many things about the unborn," said Bush, who hosted about 200 of the demonstrators in the East Room for coffee and doughnuts.

In remarks being broadcast to other demonstrators later in the day, Bush said that biology confirms that from the start, each unborn child is a separate individual with his or her own genetic code.

"Babies can now survive outside the mother's womb at younger and younger ages," he said. "And the fingers and toes and beating hearts that we can see on an unborn child's ultrasound come with something that we cannot see: a soul."

Pro-Lifers Getting Younger

While babies can survive outside the womb at younger ages, pro-life demonstrators are getting younger and younger, too.

Bryan Kemper, president of Stand True Ministries, says the March for Life is increasingly youthful because many of today's young people see themselves as survivors of the abortion era.

Stand True is a Christ-centered youth organization that seeks to be lovingly pro-life rather than angrily anti-abortion, Kemper said.

He meets "kids all the time who have found out that they've had a sibling who's been aborted, and it's really caused them to want to stand up and bring an end to it," Kemper said. "The only true way to end abortion in this country is to turn hearts back to Christ."

Personal Experiences with Abortion

Among protestors this year were dozens of women who had abortions and later found Christ -- and now sincerely regret their abortions. Georgette Forney was just 16 when she aborted her child.

"It was painful; it was awkward; it was something that as a 16-year-old I was not prepared for," Forney said. "It was traumatic."

For almost two decades, to forget she did drugs and drank and denied to herself what she'd done.

"And I was able to live in that denial except when I heard the word 'abortion.' Then it felt like someone stuck a knife in my stomach and twisted it."

Forney is now with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

Attorneys Fight to Overturn Roe

Jonathan Saenz is one of the lawyers who presented a brief to the Supreme Court against partial birth abortion in the case that made the practice illegal.

"We've seen millions of children that have been murdered," Saenz said. "And what's happening in our country is sending the message that we have a disposable society, and that's a shame."

He says the Court is too evenly divided to assure pro-life victories in the near-future.

"There's still really a very thin 5-4 split, and that's not really something we can always be assured of. It's really more of a 4-4," Saenz said.

And in true American character, pro-lifers felt that division as they weren't alone in their march. The National Organization for Women was also present, staging a counter protest to March for Life.

Ultimately, there is good news on the abortion front: the rate is down to about 1.2 million abortions a year -- the lowest number of abortions a year since 1974.

But still, since the Roe vs. Wade ruling 35 years ago, that's a death toll of some 50 million babies.

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