Considering they were protesting what they call “the greatest human rights violation of our time,” the crowd that gathered on the National Mall Friday morning for the March for Life was oddly upbeat. Church and school groups who had traveled across the country to show their opposition to 45 years of legal abortion in America chatted and laughed, enjoying the mild January sunshine. Teens toting “Defend Life” signs snapped pictures of one another mid-jump, with the Capitol Building in the background. As jaunty music floated over the loudspeakers, one coordinator lead his group in a call and response:
“I say ‘Save the,’ you say ‘babies!’ Save the … babies! Save the … babies!”
The March for Life protesters see good reason to be cheerful. For 45 years, they’ve turned up in D.C. on or near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to testify, in the words of their mission, “the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person.” And after all those long years, they feel they may finally be on the verge of a breakthrough.
This year, the Trump administration shone a spotlight on the March for Life, with Donald Trump becoming the first president to address the march directly via a live stream from the Rose Garden. Introducing him, Vice President Mike Pence called Trump “the most pro-life president in American history.”