The 2015 March for Life took place today in the usual cold January weather. Despite that, it drew one of the largest crowds on record. At the same time, the House Republican Caucus ducked a key issue in the abortion debate. And drew a sharp rebuke from an habitual March for Life attendee.
March for Life numbers and places
The March for Life has existed as a special project since the January 22, 1973 ruling of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Jane Roe v. Henry Wade. That ruling set up the “trimester system.” Every doctor who does abortions, knows about that system. Arbitrary dates on a calendar, and not medical science or clinical evidence, tell a doctor what he or she can do. (Or get away with; witness Kermit Gosnell, M.D.)
Every year on January 22, marchers have gathered on the National Mall, then marched up Constitution Avenue, rounded the Capitol on the Senate side, turned south on First Avenue Northeast, and marched on toward the Supreme Court.
Under an overcast sky, the usual cold air bit the marchers in the face and hands. That did not stop five hundred thousand people from taking part this year. This figure comes from Andrew L. Schlafly, founding “Bureaucrat” of Conservapedia. In an e-mail to CNAV from his bus, returning from the event, he shared his basis for that crowd estimate:
- His bus driver had a tough time getting into Washington, D.C. on account of the heavy traffic.
- People queued up in long lines to enter the Rayburn House Office Building and other government buildings on Independence Avenue and elsewhere.
- The March stretched longer than ever along Constitution Avenue. Schlafly took one look-back picture to show what he meant. The river of people along Constitution Avenue stretched literally to the picture’s vanishing point.
- Many out-of-town groups came to the march. They identified themselves as coming from Detroit, Michigan; Florida; Louisiana; and even France.
- As long as the crowd stretched, the marchers had to walk closer together than ever, again as the pictures show.
- Students for Life distributed twenty thousand signs, a record for them.
Why didn’t House Republicans look?
In sharp contrast, the House of Representatives had a chance to pass a bold new law against abortion. And missed it.
The House at first scheduled a vote on a bill to forbid the abortion of a “pain-capable” unborn child. Then, according to the Fox News Channel, they shelved that measure. At least two Members worried aloud their constituents would take an exception to their “distracting” themselves with “social issues.” One look along Constitution Avenue might have convinced them to lay aside their fears. Perhaps they never took that look.
Instead they passed a measure to forbid tax expenditures to support abortion. Some activists, including Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), hailed that step. But Guy Benson at Townhall.com decried it. By not passing the “pain-capable” bill, says Benson, they merely handed a P.R. victory to those who propose abortion to solve any woman’s problems with “inconvenience.”
Schlafly had even harsher words:
It is unacceptable for the Republican-controlled House to duck the all-important social issues, as they ducked the abortion issue today. The House Republicans could have simply looked out their windows today to see the massive pro-life crowds concerned about the social issue of abortion. The House needs to act on this issue by passing pro-life legislation.
Whether the House will act, Schlafly did not speculate as he shepherded his busload of cold and tired, but determined, marchers back to Chester, N.J.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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