Pro-Life Groups Counter Pro-Abortion March Planned For Nation's Capital

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - Organizers for this weekend's "March for Women's Lives," in the nation's capital say the demonstration is to show support for "reproductive freedom and justice for all women," but a group representing the pro-woman legacy of the early suffragettes is working to shed light on what they call the false impressions this march perpetuates.

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, is mobilizing its members to encourage members of Congress to support pro-life legislation.

"The truth is this: women are exploited by abortion, and they deserve better than a procedure that destroys one life while permanently injuring their own," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List. "Our organization and its members stand with the majority of America - that is opposed to abortion."

"No matter how large or small the march, it doesn't change the fact that most Americans are opposed to most abortions," said Dannenfelser.

Organizers of the march expect about 750,000 people to attend, the same estimate of their last major rally in 1992. Special guests include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, actresses Ashley Judd and Julianne Moore, and civil rights activist Dorothy Height.

"In the past few years, federal and state governments have systematically stripped away women's reproductive rights," said Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"From the Justice Department's subpoenas of women's private medical records to President Bush's appointment of anti-choice activists to lifetime judgeships, the government's attacks have been relentless," she added.

But the march's pro-abortion platform of fighting for "women's reproductive rights" runs counter to protecting women, Dannenfelser said.

"This so-called 'March for Women's Lives' will never give women in crisis what they really need and deserve. It will only draw attention to the abortion movement's false 'solutions' which add tremendous physical and psychological burdens to women who need loving support," she said.

"Our namesake was strongly opposed to abortion, because it degrades women. Susan B. Anthony referred to abortion as 'child murder,' and her contemporaries, the early suffragettes, were also very mindful of protecting the dignity of women," added Dannenfelser.

"They were all opposed to abortion. The trend among women is back to this perspective. Polls consistently reveal that the majority of women want to embrace life and oppose abortion," she said.

"We are working for real solutions for women in need, rather than celebrating or promoting access to an exploitive and deadly procedure," Dannenfelser concluded.

Meanwhile, the Catholic League Thursday said the "March for Women's Lives" will be marked by Catholic Church-bashing.

The Catholics for a Free Choice plans to hold a rally in front of the Vatican embassy a day before the march, the Catholic League points out.

"No pro-abortion series of events would be complete without a rally bashing the Catholic Church. Now the bigots are back again, enlisting the support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights," said Catholic League President William Donohue.

"But it isn't much of a coalition: Jewish organizations comprise 54 percent of the co-sponsors; Unitarian Universalist groups constitute another 16 percent," Donohue said.

"On the other hand, support has come from the Episcopal Church, USA; the United Church of Christ; Presbyterian Church USA; and the United Methodist Church. We hope all Catholics take note of who their friends are," he added.

"It would be a mistake to think that all of these people are simply pro-choice. Kissling has flatly said that her organization would 'never refer to abortion as evil.' Daniel Maquire, a professor at a Catholic university (Marquette), says abortion can even be understood as 'a holy choice, a sacred choice'; he plans to march," Donohue said.

"New York Planned Parenthood guru Alexander Sanger, who would never miss a death march, even wrote a book arguing that abortion is a positive good. Their honesty is refreshing," he added.

Donohue said many female celebrities, some of whom have had abortions, will be attending the march on Sunday, but none of them will condemn the anti-Catholic rally that takes place on Saturday. And even politics will play a role in the events, despite organizers' claims that the march is non-partisan, he said.

"Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has dubbed the march 'non-partisan.' But there is no need to lie: it's been well-reported that the Planned Parenthood Action Fund will endorse John Kerry tomorrow," Donohue said.

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