March for Women's Lives
The March for Women's Lives was a demonstration held on April 25, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. protesting the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and other restrictions on abortion. March organizers estimated that 1.15 million people participated, declaring it "the largest protest in U.S. history"; others estimated no more than 800,000 marchers, with the Associated Press and the BBC putting the figure between 500,000 and 800,000, comparable to the Million Man March of 1995. (The National Park Service no longer makes official estimates of attendance after the Million Man March controversy in 1994, so estimates are unofficial and may be speculative.) Participants protested the recently passed Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (2003) as well as other policies they claim to be "anti-women".
Pro-life protesters were present in some places along the march route. There were no violent incidents, despite Washington Post reporter Hank Steuver referring to it[clarification needed] as "aggressive and even occasionally, almost delightfully, profane."
Events and participants
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A rally on the Mall began at 10 a.m., and was followed by a march through downtown Washington, with a route along Pennsylvania Avenue. Celebrities who appeared at the march included Peter, Paul and Mary, Indigo Girls, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Ashley Judd, Kathleen Turner, Ted Turner, Ana Gasteyer, Janeane Garofalo, Bonnie Franklin, Julianne Moore and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; also appearing were veteran abortion rights leaders, such as Kate Michelman of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Gloria Steinem, and many members of Congress.
Sponsoring organizations included NARAL Pro-Choice America, Choice USA, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Organization for Women, Code Pink, and Black Women's Health Imperative.
Pro-life counter-protesters, some affiliated with Randall Terry's "Operation Witness", lined a portion of the march route along Pennsylvania Avenue. Terry estimated that there were "over a thousand" counter-protesters; pro-choice writer Jo Freeman estimated that there were "about 300", and the Washington Post wrote that there were "scores". Sixteen protesters from the Christian Defense Coalition were arrested for demonstrating without a permit when they crossed police barricades into the area designated for the March.
George W. Bush went on to win a second term, and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was not repealed. The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the law in its 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision.
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- History of Marches and Mass Actions, now.org; accessed 6 April 2017.
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- Hank Stuever,Coverage of March for Women's Lives, george.loper.org, 26 April 2004. Archived 7 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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- Williamson, Elizabeth (25 April 2004). "Abortion Rights Advocates Flood D.C." washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
- "Pro-Choice March Largest in History", Women's eNews, 25 April 2004
- Choice USA Photo gallery (photos)
- NOW: Why You Should March
- LifeNews: Catholic Group Leaves Anti-War Coalition Over Pro-Abortion March
- NOW History of Marches and Mass Actions
- NOW March for Women's Lives gallery (text and photos)
- March for Women's Lives Records. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University