Anti-abortion activists will have plenty of reasons to celebrate — and some reasons to fret — when they gather in Washington on Friday for the annual March for Life.
This march has been happening since January 1974, the year the Supreme Court affirmed Roe v. Roe. Wade effectively legalized abortion rights across the country.
This will be the first March of this year since June 2022 overturned the court’s decision.
Since then, 12 Republican-governed states have enacted comprehensive abortion restrictions, and others plan to do the same. But those efforts have been countered by others: Anti-abortion activists have been defeated in referendums in Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky, and several state courts have blocked implementation of abortion restrictions. At the same time, campaigns have sprung up to help women in states where pregnancy termination is prohibited, either by taking them to other states for abortions or by providing them access to pregnancy-terminating pills.
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said, “It’s almost like the Old West … everything has its ups and downs.”
At a time when various Democratic-run states are taking steps to protect and expand abortion, Tobias compares the current situation to the pre-Civil War era, when countries split between states that allowed slavery and those that opposed it. was divided.
“I would not be surprised if we have a situation like this for a few years,” Tobias said. “But I am sure pro-life activists will not budge. For us, this is a civil rights issue.”
The theme for this year’s march is “Next Steps: Marching Into the Future in a Post-Row America.” Speakers will include football coach Tony Dungy and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who won the Supreme Court case overturning Roe.
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