Abortion opponents held the first March for Life following the overturn of Roe v. Wade in Washington, D.C. on Friday, demonstrating in an effort to push Congress to enact additional restrictions on the procedure.
The theme of this year’s march was “Next Steps: Marching into a Post-Roe America.” Speakers at the march emphasized that they must continue to fight against abortion access despite a major victory with the court’s ruling last June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe.
NBC News reported that Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said this past year was the “most significant victory” but that the “human rights abuse of abortion is far from over.”
“We will continue to march until the human rights abuse of abortion is a thing of the past,” she said.
A few members of Congress who oppose abortion rights spoke at the rally.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) praised the younger participants of the march, saying that they were “giving us hope that the young people of America are here to defend life.”
“America should not be on a list of countries with barbaric abortion laws,” he said.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said he was at the first March for Life rally in 1974, held one year after Roe was decided, and that “Today, we celebrate. Roe is gone.”
He said the rally “inspires us to do more and more in defense of life.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was not present at the rally but tweeted ahead of it that he welcomes those who came to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the “right to life.”
He noted that the House passed a bill last week to require babies born alive after an attempted abortion to receive medical care.
“You now have a Congress that is standing up for life,” he said.
The rally comes a day after the Supreme Court’s marshal, Gail Curley, said she was not able to find the individual responsible for leaking the court’s ruling in Dobbs early. Politico reported on a draft opinion a month before the final ruling was released, causing the court to launch an investigation into the leak.
Investigators interviewed almost 100 employees or personnel of the court and all nine justices but could not find conclusive evidence of who was responsible.
Vice President Harris will speak at an event in Florida on Sunday in honor of the 50th anniversary of the court’s ruling in Roe.
Almost two dozen states have moved to almost entirely ban or severely restrict access to abortion following the court’s Dobbs ruling. Anti-abortion legislation and trigger bans are stalled in court in about a half dozen states.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
March for life
March for Life Education and Defense Fund
Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Congress