March for Life declares victory as media downplay it despite VP visit
Vice President Mike Pence personally addressed the throngs of marchers, praising the "most pro-life president in American history" for nominating conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Claiming the pro-life crowd had made progress winning Americans' "hearts and minds," he announced that "This will be the generation that restores the right to life in America."
Trump addressed the crowd in a video touting his victories against abortion, including reinstating the so-called "Mexico City Policy" to ban aid to groups that "support or promote abortion around the world." He also sent a letter to Congress warning them he would veto any legislation loosening restrictions on abortion rights or "that encourages the destruction of innocent human life at any stage."
Today @POTUS sent a letter to Congress promising to veto any bill that weakens current pro-life policies and laws. The Administration remains committed to protecting the rights of the unborn - the right to life. We must continue to give a voice to the voiceless.@March_for_Lifepic.twitter.com/0ZRE6vtECF— Russ Vought (@RussVought45) January 18, 2019
Other VIPs included Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois), a rare anti-abortion Democrat, and Daily Wire owner Ben Shapiro, who attempted to "debunk" pro-choice arguments with some interesting lines of reasoning.
Ben Shapiro at March for Life: "The truth is no pro-life person would kill baby Hitler. Baby Hitler was a baby." pic.twitter.com/PPgQcbWSrq— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 18, 2019
the anti-choice movement pivoting toward "child protective services could have prevented the holocaust" is something i truly didn't expect— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 18, 2019
Crowd size estimates varied widely depending on one's ideology. Organizers expected at least 100,000 marchers to attend, and some estimates put the number as high as 200,000 or even 300,000. The conservative Gateway Pundit slammed USA Today for its low estimate of "more than a thousand" –which they eventually revised upward to "thousands." CNN was eventually shamed into covering the march as well, though they avoided reporting any numbers at all.
While I live-streamed, several commenters asked how many people I thought were in the #MarchForLife crowd.Too many to count, that’s for sure, folks!Best estimate I got from an organizer was 200,000-300,000, which seems plausible to me. pic.twitter.com/1SvXAUWF1B— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) January 18, 2019
The March for Life has taken place every year since 1974 on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the US. The year's theme – "Unique from Day One" – couched the usual movement rhetoric in scientific language, stating on its website that "our uniqueness as individuals" begins at fertilization and that "science is on the side of life."
In previous years, marchers have entered the Capitol to push the pro-life cause to members of Congress, but the government shutdown – now in its 28th day – makes it less likely they'll encounter any stray lawmakers.
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