Annual ‘March for Life’ Set for a Bitter Cold Monday in Washington

By Matt Cover | January 21, 2011 | 3:43 PM EST

One of many protest signs at a Republican rally against the Democrats’ health care plan on Nov. 5, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

( The annual March for Life rally is scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital on Monday, Jan. 24, bringing thousands of pro-life activists to Washington to commemorate the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Held every year since 1974, the year following the high court’s decision, the march regularly draws upwards of 150,000 activists to Washington to mark the anniversary of the Roe decision and to oppose the continued existence of abortion on demand.

This year’s march will feature Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) as the keynote speaker at its Rose Dinner event that marks the end of a weekend of protests and ceremonies focused on ending abortion.

The march also follows two news reports that put abortion back in the headlines after it was largely ignored following the 2009 health care debate.

One report noted that 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in an abortion. That figure, twice the national average, was called “chilling” by New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who said he was “embarrassed” for the city over the high rate of abortions.

The second major abortion story concerns a Philadelphia abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was charged with eight counts of murder after investigators discovered that one woman and seven babies died during botched abortion procedures that he reportedly performed.

Organizers of the March for Life plan an entire weekend of activity for pro-life activists who are coming to Washington. A small rally was scheduled for Sunday in Lafayette Park across from the White House. On Monday, the much larger main rally will take place on the National Mall. The main rally also will serve as the starting point for the march itself.

The march will begin on the National Mall and end in front of the Supreme Court building located directly behind the U.S. Capitol.

According to the liberal Guttmacher Institute, 1.2 million abortions take place in the United states each year.  Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a little over 52 million children have been killed by abortion in America.