The most striking thing about the crowd gathered for the March for Life in Washington today is its youthfulness. The streets are lined with group after group of young adults huddled together and talking animatedly, clustered around a high school teacher or parent chaperone, hoisting banners that advertise the parish, diocese, or academy from which they’ve come.
It's a bustling scene: A trumpeter blares a martial tune, a chant featuring the chorus of popular rapper Eminem’s “Not Afraid” has been altered slightly to reflect a pro-life message, a passing priest is reciting a rosary aloud, intermittent cheers erupt nearby the stage, where orations from rabbis and pro-life politicians like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have energized the freezing crowd. They hold signs with slogans such as “Defend Life” and “Smile, Your Mom Chose Life." Another informs us that Chuck Norris is pro-life.
“I’ve never seen anything like this” says Mary Ann Kreitzer of Virginia. “So many young people. I’ve been to 35 marches and I’ve never seen anything like this.” Polls have shown an uptick in the percentage of young voters who self-identify as "pro-life."
There would probably be more adults here if the rally weren't held on a work day in the dead of winter. Even though Saturday marked the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, organizers decided to march today today so that protesters could visit their congressmen. “My senators are never around on a day like today,” says Breeda Connolly, who has made the trek from Brooklyn. Yet Connolly--and tens of thousands of others--continue to march year after year in the hope that one day Roe will be overturned.
Matt Katzenberger and Thomas O'Ban are interns at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.