Thousands march to move anti-abortion movement into a post-Roe world

Protesters gather in Washington for annual March for Life rally

Demonstrators during the annual March For Life on the National Mall in Washington. Bloomberg
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Tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists descended on the National Mall in Washington on Friday to call for a nationwide ban on abortion.

The 50th annual March for Life event was the first to be held since the Supreme Court upended five decades of precedent and overturned Roe v Wade, which protected the right to abortion.

The court’s decision in Dobbs V Jackson now leaves it up to individual states to decide whether or not women will have the right to the procedure.

The decision last year was a watershed moment for many in the crowd and the culmination of years of protest — but not the end of their quest.

“While the march began as a response to Roe, we don’t end as a response to Roe being overturned,” Jeanne Manicini, president of March for Life, told the crowd.

“Why? Because we’re not yet done. We will continue to march until the human rights abuse of abortion is a thing of the past. We will march until abortion is unthinkable.”

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The annual event draws huge crowds from across the country to the nation’s capital.

Hundreds of school and church groups filled the lawn along the National Mall before beginning their march towards the Supreme Court.

A group of college students from Ave Maria University in Florida spent 23 hours on a bus to participate in the rally.

“The work is not done, we still have so much to do,” said Madeline, a student who was wearing a jacket bearing the words “Pro life, pro God” and holding a sign that declared her to be part of the “pro-life generation.".

“Abortion is still happening and until abortion has gone away, I will still be on the front lines,” she added.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, 13 states have outlawed the procedure. With many state legislatures returning to session after the Christmas break, the issue is expected to be front and centre for months to come.

Anti-abortion activists say they plan on bringing their protests to the state level.

“We need to be active in all 50 states to get it outlawed completely,” said protester Tess McDonald, who was carrying a sign that said “Love them both” that showed a picture of a woman and a foetus.

Updated: January 20, 2023, 7:53 PM