Jan 19, 2018: Optimistic anti-abortion activists hold 45th march in capital
UNITED STATES - Anti-abortion activists, optimistic that they can put back the clock, will be marching from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Supreme Court in the capital for the landmark 45th March for Life.
The first March for Life was held in 1974, and marches have been held in the capital and other U.S. cities on or near the anniversary every year. The activists’ main goal is to see Roe v. Wade overturned. A U.S. Supreme Court decision of Jan 22, 1973, it recognized a right to abortion nationwide.
Antiabortion activists saw their hopes revived by the election in Nov 2016 of a Republican president, Donald Trump, and a Republican-controlled Congress. Both are expected to move forward on anti-abortion policies.
Other demands include the permanent extension of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for many abortions in the United States. It has been extended on a year-to-year basis from 1976 to the present. They also want a law that bans abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and a stop to all federal funding for Planned Parenthood unless the organization stops providing abortion services and advice.
In Jan 2017 the Washington Post reported a 2016 Pew Research Center poll that revealed 59 per cent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, the highest percentage since 1996.
The 2017 gathering came a week after Trump’s inauguration and followed the vast Women’s March on Washington DC and other cities around the world on the day after his swearing-in. The focus was women’s rights, including the right to abortion.