We were dreading the March a bit this year. The forecast said 24 degrees, drizzling or snowing. Ick.What we got was a downpour on the drive into DC, then a sudden stop as we were looking for a parking space. The day was ten degrees warmer than predicted, the sun actually peeked out, and it was one of the better days, weather-wise, that we’ve seen at the March.
I honestly couldn’t hear much this year, and when I could hear, I was concentrating on staying standing up (addendum to previous suggestions: if you’re going, it’s easier to enter the crowd from the back and remember to be polite. Shoving doesn’t get you anywhere, and, if you’re wearing a giant backpack, be careful where you’re swinging it!). The crowd gets bigger every year; estimates for the 2010 March for Life attendance seem to be 300,000 to 400,000, with some people arguing for an even bigger count.
That’s an awful lot of people showing up in the iffy-at-best January weather every single year for the media to ignore. But they do.
I always hate seeing the media coverage. Almost every time, what we get is a photo of four women with “Keep abortion legal” signs and a second photo of some guy with his two young kids (and if they were brought by a parent, it obviously doesn’t count, right? Plus, it’s usually a guy they show on the pro-life side, since they don’t count either, NOW will tell you.). Repeatedly, the MSM presents the March as if there was an equal amount of participation on both sides, which has never been the case.
In reality, the March is gigantic (and the pro-abortion protest is normally less than a dozen people). The only thing that would really show you the scope of the crowd is an aerial shot. People are crammed onto the Mall, overflowing the streets, waiting on building steps, etc.
The March for Life is generally non-partisan. If you’re pro-life, we’re happy to have you with us. If you’re not, your party affiliation will not endear you to anybody there. Scott Brown’s election win in Massachusetts came up a few times; although he is not notably pro-life, he seems to vote the Republican platform, which is generally pro-life. In any case, he is not nearly as pro-abortion as the late Senator Kennedy was. (My SIL (DH’s sister) commented on how deliciously ironic it would be if Brown’s election was the doom of the health care bill named after the man he succeeded in his Senate seat.)
Some of the signs:
Unfortunately, the glare makes it difficult to see the photos of the tiny premies in their incubators, dwarfed by the nurses’ hands, but struggling for life.
On a related note, one Congressman told the story of his daughter’s early birth, many years ago, when her chances of surviving were slim. When they sent her to a different hospital, he followed. Finally making it to the NICU, the doctor told him, “Thank goodness you’re here! You have to hold her. She can’t see you, but she knows your voice, she knows who you are. Let her know you’re here, and she might fight to stay alive.”
The Congressman compared that to the pro-life movement: so often, we see no success, only death. But we still have to be there to speak for the unborn, because, even if they don’t know it in life, they’ll know it in Heaven that someone was fighting for them. (The sidewalk counseling group we work with (erratically, of late) says something similar: even on days when nobody seems to listen, when nobody changes their minds about getting the abortion, we are still there to mourn the dead. And that matters.)
His daughter lived, and sent her dad off with a scarf to stay warm at the March this year.
The back of this one had a Thomas Jefferson quote: “The purpose of civil government is to protect life; abandon that, and you have abandonned all.”
Towards the end, heading up Capitol Hill.
This is looking back down Capitol Hill, at the solid stream of people going all the way back down the March route. By this point, the March is still thick with people, even though hundreds started peeling off at the bottom of Capitol Hill to find their buses.