Anti-abortion protesters optimistic at March for Life in DC

  • People attend the March for Life rally Friday on the National Mall in Washington. The March for Life, for decades an annual protest against abortion, arrives this year as the Supreme Court has indicated it will allow states to impose tighter restrictions on abortion with a ruling in the coming months. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — The annual anti-abortion rally in the nation’s capital sounded more like a victory celebration Friday as speaker after speaker expressed a growing sense of optimism that their long-sought goal was finally in reach: a sweeping rollback of abortion rights in America.

Thousands of anti-abortion protesters rallied in the bitter cold and then marched to the Supreme Court, which has indicated it will allow states to impose tighter restrictions on abortion with a ruling in the coming months — and possibly overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion.

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“It doesn’t feel real. There’s so much hope and vibrancy and happiness and joy at this thing,” said Jordan Moorman of Cincinnati.

The annual March for Life rally, held one day before the 49th anniversary of the Roe decision, took place amid a COVID-19 surge that limited turnout at the National Mall. Some abortion opponents posted on the event’s Facebook page that they would not attend because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for people going to restaurants and other places in the District of Columbia.

Still, the rally drew a crowd of thousands, with a heavy contingent of young people and students bussed in by schools and church groups.

The mood was overwhelmingly upbeat, with many treating the end of Roe v. Wade as inevitable.

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, told the crowd that Roe is not settled law and “we are hoping and praying that this year, 2022, will bring a historic change for life.”

“If Roe falls, the battle lines will change, but make no mistake the fight for life will need to continue in the states and here in D.C.,” Mancini said.

The Rev. Andrew Rudmann, a Catholic priest from New Orleans, was attending his 11th event. “Hopefully this will be the last March for Life,” he said.

Rudmann said previous marches may have had larger crowds but he doesn’t recall this level of optimism.

He said the crowds grew “gigantic” under former President Donald Trump and the movement’s enthusiasm grew with each Trump Supreme Court appointee.

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