WASHINGTON -- The mainstream media often frames the abortion debate as being about a woman's right. They make it sound as if women are working against their own freedom if they oppose abortion.
But female leaders in the pro-life movement insist a majority of American women are pro-life and it is they who lead the fight against abortion.
Many of those leaders gathered Wednesday night at a posh hotel in the nation's capital for one of the largest galas ever held to honor and mobilize pro-life women.
The event was hosted by Susan B. Anthony List, a network of 330,000 women mobilizing and supporting female pro-life politicians.
"The truth is that women are at the helm of the pro-life movement," Susan B. Anthony President Marjorie Dannenfelser told CBN News.
Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, pointed to statistics showing pro-life women are now the majority, and their numbers are growing. She said that's because so many have come to believe abortion actually harms women.
"People keep flocking in our direction as women themselves are speaking up to talk about how much the abortion experience damaged them, how much they regret that decision," Yoest told CBN News.
Dannenfelser agreed that damage from abortion is helping to drive pro-life numbers up.
"What women are truly grappling with right now is not how to get their next abortion," she said. "In fact, they're reeling from the effects of abortion and the pain that comes along with that."
Radio personality Mary Katherine Ham was the gala's master of ceremonies. She declared pro-life feminists have had it with the insistence by left-leaning feminists that all liberated women must subscribe to the views of pro-choice liberals.
"It's a pleasure and a privilege to be with a group that believes that liberated women can believe something other than the rich, diverse ideological spectrum between Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi," Ham told the gala audience.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation is under fire after severing financial partnerships with several Planned Parenthood affiliates. Melida Delahoyde, president of a network of pregnancy centers called Care Net, talked more about the foundation's decision of the CBN News Channel's Morning News, Feb. 2.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., gave the keynote speech, ripping into the very cornerstone of legal abortion, the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
"It is bad law," he told the crowd. "It is perhaps the most egregious and devastating example of a court that has decided that because the political branch will not deal with an issue they believe is important, they're going to step in and make a policy decision."
"They literally created a constitutional right out of nothing," he said.
Rubio's latest pro-life cause is introducing a Senate bill that would undo a new "Obamacare" mandate that all employers, including religious ones, must pay for contraception -- even the kind that aborts the unborn.
"This administration in an outrageous overreach is basically saying that their policy aims are more important than the religious liberties guaranteed by our Constitution," Rubio told CBN News.
The gala bestowed the highest honor of the evening on Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y.
But after receiving the Distinguished Leader Award, Buerkle immediately turned it around and praised the pro-life audience, saying, "You support women in a crisis pregnancy and the crisis pregnancy centers."
"You help them and you help support their unborn children and once the babies are born," she said. "You are the heroes."
Buerkle also called on all pro-life women to be strong and tackle the long, hard labor of converting the culture.
"We have to go one by one to our sisters, our mothers, our neighbors, our friends, and we have to educate and teach," she said. "And we must, must, must educate with love, with determination and with endurance."