‘March for Life’ highlights gains made by abortion opponents; Hatch welcomes participants

ST. GEORGE — For the first time in years, abortion opponents will have all the political momentum when they hold their annual rally Friday on the National Mall in the nation’s capital.

In this January 2016 file photo, Michelle Doyle, left, joins the “March for Life” rally, commemorating the anniversary of 1973 “Roe v. Wade” U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2016 | Associated Press photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta, St. George News

The “March for Life,” held each year in Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, will have one of its biggest-name speakers in years: Vice President Mike Pence.

Neither a president nor a vice president has ever addressed the march, which is now in its 44th year. One of President Donald Trump’s top advisers, Kellyanne Conway, is also on the speakers’ list.

Friday morning, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch sent out a video message welcoming participants to the event.

Hatch said:

In one week alone, our nation has taken meaningful steps to protect the unborn. Just last Friday, a pro-life president took office, and he wasted no time in righting the wrongs of the previous administration.

As one of his first executive orders, President Trump rescinded an Obama-era policy that forced American taxpayers to fund abortions overseas. The House then voted to make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which further protects the conscience of pro-life Americans by prohibiting the use of taxpayer money for abortion.

A new poll shows that the American people overwhelmingly support such commonsense policies.

I first came to the Senate in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade — the infamous Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand. Ever since, I’ve been fighting for the cause of life, and I’m truly encouraged by the progress we’ve made.

Today, a large majority of Americans support a broad range of restrictions on abortion.

Even though abortion advocates want to make enemies of pro-life supporters, nearly 80 percent of Americans believe that our laws can protect both women and unborn children. At the feminist march last Saturday — in the middle of the hostility and anger — a group of young people carried signs that read I am the pro-life generation.

Today, thousands of men and women will march under that banner. While our movement has real cause for celebration, we still have much work to do.

Know that I will always be by your side, fighting on behalf of the values we hold dear. I will always stand up for life, and I will never relent in my commitment to the unborn.

Organizers of the “March for Life” told the National Park Service in their permit application they expect 50,000 participants. Yet Trump insisted on the eve of the rally that the crowd would be far larger, saying “a lot of people are gonna be showing up.”

You know, the press never gives them the credit that they deserve,” Trump told Republicans gathered in Philadelphia. “They’ll have 300, 400, 500, 600 thousand people. You won’t even read about it. When other people show up, you read big-time about it. Right? So, it’s not fair, but nothing fair about the media.”

One of Trump’s first official acts after taking office a week ago was to sign an executive order banning U.S. aid to foreign groups that provide abortions.

Rep. Mia Love speaks to the crowd at the “March for Life,” rally, the annual event commemorating the anniversary of 1973 “Roe v. Wade” U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Washington D.C., Jan 27, 2017 | Image courtesy of Fox13Now.com, St. George News

In Congress, Republican majorities in both chambers are vowing to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provided more than a third of the nation’s abortions in 2014. They also hope to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Trump has pledged to sign both measures if they reach his desk.

Less than a year ago, with Barack Obama’s second term winding down, things were markedly different. The Supreme Court struck down Texas’ strict regulations on abortion clinics as interfering with a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. And with polls at the time suggesting Hillary Clinton would likely defeat Trump, abortion opponents worried about an era of liberal majorities on the court.

“The horizon looked bleak for the pro-life movement,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.

Mancini suggested that many voters chose Trump largely because he pledged to appoint a Supreme Court justice who shared their views on abortion, even if they disagreed with him on other issues.

I don’t identify as a Republican or a Democrat but I do vote pro-life,” Mancini said.

Abortion opponents also were heartened by a recent study that found the number of abortions in the United States dropped under 1 million in 2014, the lowest total in 40 years. The report by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, credited increased access to birth control but also a surge in abortion restrictions in many states.

Americans remain deeply divided on abortion.

The latest Gallup survey, released last spring, found that 47 percent of Americans described themselves as pro-choice and 46 percent as pro-life. It also found that 79 percent believed abortion should be legal in either some or all circumstances.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that poll shows why abortion-rights supporters shouldn’t despair. She also said Republicans were taking actions that would result in more illegal abortions and deaths of pregnant women.

“The vast majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade and support the legal right to abortion,” Hogue said.

Friday’s march comes less than a week after one of the largest mass demonstrations in the city’s history, the “Women’s March on Washington,” which drew more than half a million people opposed to Trump on issues including abortion.

A young girl dressed in a pink tutu and a tiara joins participants in the “Women’s March on Washington” sister march in St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

In St. George, over 1,400 people took part in a sister march to the one in Washington. Many of the participants who spoke to St. George News said they had accepted Trump as the president and were willing to give him a chance. One of these was Dallas Henry, an outreach and clinic coordinator for Planned Parenthood in St. George.

“We’re here for our community,” Henry said, “and we’re going to march together in solidarity with our sisters in Washington. …  We as women, we’re standing together and giving him (Trump) that chance, and we’re going to hold him accountable no matter what.”

Mancini said she also had originally planned to participate in the Women’s March on Washington until organizers dropped an anti-abortion group as an official partner. She said its failure to embrace different views on abortion was a missed opportunity.

The March for Life is usually held on the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision — Jan. 22 — but it was pushed back this year because of Trump’s inauguration.

Associated Press reporter Ben Nuckols and St. George News reporter Hollie Reina contributed to this story.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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  • comments January 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I’m not for abortion in a general sense, but I still think there are a lot of people that should’ve been aborted. If we only knew then what we know now, lol. Also, parts of the 3rd world would benefit greatly from massively increased abortion rates, and I support it 100% I guess what it comes down to is parts of the world needing population control. If there were a fluffier, happier, nicer ways to go about it than abortions that would we wonderful, but that isn’t the world we live in. Overpopulation inevitably leads to violence and deterioration of quality of life for everyone.

    • ladybugavenger January 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      There are plenty of areas in the U.S. where it’s not overpopulated, they usually come with colder temps, humidity, and tornados but they are not over populated. We welcome you here in Oklahoma, Bob.

      St George streets weren’t built for a population uprise, but there is plenty of land to develop….but those dang turtles own it lol

      • comments January 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        LOL oklahoma. I’ll keep it in my dreams and aspirations.

        • .... January 28, 2017 at 6:03 am

          Well the people in Oklahoma just had their status go up. knowing you won’t go there

        • ladybugavenger January 28, 2017 at 11:18 am

          I think my property value just raised lol

    • ladybugavenger January 27, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      FYI: it sounds like you are for abortion in a general sense Bob. lol

      • comments January 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

        I would go more into it but my views on it aren’t ‘politically correct’, and someone will get very butthurt, lol

    • .... January 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      LOL ! Bob the hateful bigot trying to be the voice of reason lol ! funny stuff

  • Sapphire January 27, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    If women cared about choice, they would choose not to get pregnant rather than kill their children after they are conceived. It is only January and almost 80,000 babies have been aborted in the USA. So much for LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL.

    • ladybugavenger January 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I agree Sapphire, the choices were before conception. That number of 80,000 is horrifying.

    • comments January 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      AMEN to that

      • .... January 28, 2017 at 6:02 am

        LOL ! Bob the religion bigot and hater uses the term AMEN …tell us all about it Bob

  • voice of reason January 28, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Babies aren’t aborted. Fetuses are. Abortion is NOT murder in the eyes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint or the eyes of the Catholic Church or in the eyes of the Law. While I find the practice to be distasteful, it is not my choice. The choice belongs to the mother and the mother alone. The best way to reduce the number of abortions would be to increase real sexual education among our young people and provide easier access to birth control, without the negative stigma that comes with it. It’s time to drop the stupid abstinence only crap and give these kids real information.

    • darkgoddess January 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

      I concur @voice of reason. This is the 21st century, and we need to stop acting like it’s 1950. These kids need the facts, and if their parents aren’t willing to teach them, then our schools need to step up to the plate. And, birth control needs to be free and available for them – they should be able to go to the nurse or school counselor and get it, no questions asked. I’m pretty sure nowadays girls still believe you can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up, or do it for the first time, or whatever.

      • Henry January 28, 2017 at 10:04 am

        What world do you two live in? You can go to Walmart, Walgreens, or many other places and get a 12-pack of condoms for $7. How much “easier access” do you need? The lack of sex education is another red herring; it’s been taught in our schools for decades. Welcome to 2017.

        • voice of reason January 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

          Uhh, yeah, no. Real sex education has not been taught in the schools for decades. Utah is an abstinence only state. That combined with the stigma surrounding premarital sexual relations, based largely on the influence of The Church, means a majority of kids in this state get their info from the playground, internet and stupid friends. Condoms are great, but there are other methods that deserve mention.

          • Henry January 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm

            Uhh, yeah, yeah. I was referring to the U.S. a whole regarding sex ed, as was the story. There’s more to the U.S. than your little corner of Utah. Most of these kids know more about sex than you do. A widespread negative stigma? Have you tuned into any tv or radio in the last decade?

      • comments January 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        ” I’m pretty sure nowadays girls still believe you can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up, or do it for the first time, or whatever.”

        In this case abortion is the first and best option.

        • .... January 29, 2017 at 10:08 am

          Abortion would of been the best option for you lol !

    • comments January 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      I think u are right. We need increase birth control and increased abortion availability.

      • ladybugavenger January 29, 2017 at 4:09 am

        I think we need to increase vasectomies or maybe we should use castration on those that shouldn’t be fathers.

        • ladybugavenger January 29, 2017 at 4:20 am

          Just sayin’

        • comments January 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm

          Yep, I’m all for it. But it will have to include females as well.

          • ladybugavenger January 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            You and I agree, Men want to be equal to women, I know.

            This whole women’s march has it backwards.

            That’s why it’s so frustrating.

            I get paid the same as a man. But I want a man to be a man (hard to find these days, that’s why woman are rising up) and a woman to be a woman. Is it too much to ask?

          • comments January 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

            Women are so indoctrinated by social media trends and ultra-leftist education these day I’m not sure they even have a clue of what they want or what’s good for them. And not just women, men too.

  • ladybugavenger January 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Some kids have to learn on their own. How many times did your parents teach you something (pick a lesson) to stop you from doing it (the lesson)? And you did it anyways because you had to see for yourself?

    Kids are foolish! No matter how much you teach them there will always be someone coming along to sidetrack them.

    It’s not always lack of education or the parents fault. It’s the stupid kids fault! Start blaming the kids and not the parents and schools and then kids will be raised to take responsibility for their actions. If as a society, y’all keep blaming everyone else for kids actions, then a society raises kids to blame everything and everyone else (except themselves) for their bad behavior, choices, and stupidity.

    Kids learn to manipulate at a young age, don’t give them excuses to continue their manipulation as adults.

  • ladybugavenger January 29, 2017 at 4:49 am

    If it’s about pro choice then why can’t a woman have her tubes tied until 25 (varies by state) and has to have 3 kids (varies). They wouldn’t do it after 1st kid and I fought the nurses in Utah to tie my tubes after 2nd kid and I was 25. They didn’t want too. They tried to talk me out of it Why? ! It’s my body. I didn’t want more kids. I say if abortion is legal and it’s called, right to choose. Then woman should be able to tie their tubes if they don’t want children, isn’t that a right to choose?

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