Finally getting around to blogging about the March for Life.
It was cold, wet, and a bit drizzly. Nothing wrong with that. The rally was two hours long. Nothing wrong with that, either. Putting the two of them together is a problem.
President Bush phoned in his greetings to the March (most likely out of security concerns). His remarks are here.
Ron Paul was the only Presidential candidate to speak. His supporters were there with banners (“Ron Paul for Life!” and “Ron Paul: Life, Liberty, and [smiley face]”) and paraphernalia. Yes, to his haters – he has supporters, they are fairly normal people, and they exist outside of the internet. Actually, it was really cool to see all of the Ron Paul supporters in action. They are passionate and really worked hard on the grass roots political effort thing. Okay, okay – this elephant is a sucker to see democracy (or representative democracy) in action. Freedom is a beautiful thing.
Actually, nearly every pro-life Congressman addressed the audience. Perhaps, as this is an election year, the organisers permitted anyone to speak. :) Priests, bishops, a rabbi, and a reverand also spoke. Terri Schiavo’s family (Schindler) was also there and spoke. It was great to see the pro-life movement talk about both abortion and euthanasia.
Nellie Gray, who started the March for Life, addressed the assembly. She collapsed on stage and had to be taken to the hospital. Lifesite.net reports that she is doing well.
March itself, below the fold:
Now, the MSM won’t tell y’all a darn thing about it. They do say that “tens of thousands” of people marched, if they even mentioned that people from all over the country converged upon the Capitol to protest Roe v. Wade. The Washington Post said that “thousands” of people were present, which sort of implies the 3,000 to possibly 15,000 range. The March website estimates about 200,000 marchers (estimates that have been steady for several years running). Lifesite.net estimates that 225,000 people were present. Now, for some quick back-of-the envelope calculations:
The March started at 2:00 pm. The last marchers passed the Senate Office Building at 3:30 pm. This blogger finally got off the Mall around 2:30 pm and hit the Senate building by 3:00 pm. Many marchers had finished the route before others had started.
At one point, you could look from 7th street, up the hill to the Senate Office Building, and see nothing but people. When you marched your way to the top of the hill, you could turn around and not see the end of the march. (Incredible to see, by the way; here is the 2007 version. Here’s an unknown year. More 2007. The WaPo covered it on pg. A3 in 2005.)
Crowd density calculation info here. “A crowd of 500,000, he says, would have filled all eight panels, stretching from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, or from Third Street to 14th Street.”
The march was, therefore, roughly two miles long and approximately 50 people across. Within one significant figure, that would be about 100,000 people.
Princeton, UMich, and West Virginia sent large groups (with big signs; we were lame and just picked up “I vote pro-life” signs as we got there). At one point, someone asked all of the under-25 group to raise their hands. (Man, that was a looong time ago!) Approximately 1/3d of the crowd had their hands in the air. Roughly equally male and female in the crowd. Approximately half of Kansas turned out for the event. (Do not laugh. This elephant has never seen so many people from Kansas in her life, including when she was in the state.)
A lot of women came out, holding signs saying, “I regret my abortion.” That takes some courage. Congratulations, ladies.
Some great signs and shirts: “I was once a fetus.” “Pro-choice, pro-child = pro-bacon, pro-pig.” “Your ma-ma chose life, dawlin” (from Louisiana).
Bad signs: do we really need the billboard-sized photos of aborted fetuses? Do we really need the comparisons to concentration camps and the Nazis? As for the first one: the picture of any surgical procedure is disguisting. The presence of blood does not a moral condemnation make. After all, child birth is not a pretty procedure; would we promote abortion because of the long-lasting effects of pregnancy and childbirth? Now, people say that they want to show the horrors of abortion. Well, that horror starts with the knowledge that there is a human being in there. Why not show high-res ultrasounds of 8-week old embryos, which look like really tiny, fully-formed babies?
As for the Nazis – yes, the numbers (millions slaughtered) are comparable, but the enemies are not. The evil of the Nazi regime was in the deliberation of herding millions of disfavoured groups (Jews, gays, the disabled) into cattle cars and to their deaths. Pro-choice advocates truly believe that they advocate for the choice of a pregnant woman, that pro-life legislation will not stop abortion but will make it less safe, and that the fetus really is nothing more than a clump of cells. Evil people are not to be reasoned with; they are to be stopped at gunpoint. Reasonable, albeit misguided, people are to be reasoned with and persuaded.
Finally, the rainbow at the end of the march – gorgeous! Say this isn’t the year that a Supreme Court justice leaves so we can get our anti-Roe, pro-Constitution Court.