Talk:March for Life (Washington, D.C.)

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group keeps citing 650,000 attendees since 2013 with no verifiable way to back that up. Monroe News out of Monroe Michigan is one source, the other is catholic news for these numbers, and the WH Press Secretary apparently is citing them in today's news conference."President" trump-administration-official-responds-women-s-march-demonstrations-n710436 - We might be better off not talking about attendance in this article at all if we can't verify methodology from a neutral third party. We cannot take the estimate from the organizers at face value, crowd estimates by the attendees traditionally skews high and should be treated with skepticism. Jknizer (talk) 03:26, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

The New York times reported that tens of thousands attended (, though that seems low. The Washington Post pointed out that the organizers had a permit for 50,000. The Park Service didn't provide crowd size estimates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DM2013 (talkcontribs) 22:48, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps some more accurate information can be gleaned from James J. Heaney's essay on the Size of the March for Life ( He is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Investigative Post, "a non-profit newsroom that produces independent, non-partisan investigative stories and analysis on issues that matter to the citizens and taxpayers of Buffalo and Western New York," although the essay was published on his personal blog. In summary, he argues that "Based on this evidence, it seems reasonable to estimate that the March for Life crowd size is between roughly 30,000 and 100,000 each year." At the same time he mentions that "Media crowd size estimates at the March for Life are routinely ridiculous lowballs (“hundreds”? seriously?). This despite the fact that the March for Life, even given conservative assumptions, is routinely the largest march on Washington of the year… and it happens every single year." --Andresj (talk) 18:24, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

None of the sources provided for crowd estimates are remotely credible. The Washington Times is not a reputable publication. ZENIT is a Catholic organization. Neither of them source their own estimates. If their numbers are used, they should be explicitly qualified. Mcomfort (talk) 00:46, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Attendance and Pro-Choice events[edit]

There has to be some kind of official statement as to number of participants from the involved parties, including capitol police estimates. I think there may be some validity to pointing out the simultaneous Pro-Roe demonstrations as well.eRipley 16:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC) I little outside research shows the Park Police are not allowed to estimate crowd sizes since 1995 due to political pressure resulting from the Million Man March crowd estimate. Organizers have an interest in ballooning numbers making a valid cite most likely impossible.eRipley 16:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

The reason that pro-Roe demonstrations are not mentioned is because such demonstrations are extremely small (numbering in the dozens) feebly staffed, and disorganized. An average pro-life marcher will never see a pro- Roe demonstration on his/her march because they keep well away from the pro-life march. You could gather information and create a separate article if you so desire. Also, as this article is a stub, it is best to include necessary material that directly relates to the subject.Justanotherguy 06:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Justanotherguy. There are hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers at the event and usually very few pro-'choice' demonstrators in comparison. ...Andy120... 23:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)lllllllllllllllllllllllko
What the heck is "lllllllllllllllllllllllko"??? Let's delete it. --- Mwr0 (talk) 11:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The 2015 march had an abortion rights protest which stopped the march for 30 minutes, that's a significant presence. --- Mwr0 (talk) 11:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I added the link (currently footnote #2) to the estimate numbers on the March web site. This is my first Wikipedia edit, so if I did something wrong, please let me know. Any and all crowd size estimates will be challenged by someone, which is why the Police no longer make estimates. However with a few (5-10) people to help, I could make an actual Count during the march itself, if such a count was actually wanted by anyone. Benjamin = —Preceding unsigned comment added by BenjiMac (talkcontribs) 06:14, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean you added Reference 4, "Youth Turnout Strong at US March for Life", or Reference 7, "Official March for Life website–About Us" ? Refs 2 and 3 are to news sites. And I don't believe Wikipedia rules let you cite yourself as the source if you are an eyewitness who counts the crowd. --- Mwr0 (talk) 11:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Reference 5, "Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.)." has absolutely nothing to do with the March or estimates of its size, but I don't know the right Wiki tag to mark it as such. --- Mwr0 (talk) 11:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, Reference 14 is a duplicate of Reference 7 "Official March for Life website–About Us". --- Mwr0 (talk) 11:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Photo and results[edit]

I noticed that there's some back-and-forth editing lately, so I'd like to see if we can resolve the matter here.

Both of the photos that have been suggested come from the rally. The Obama Hitler one does show a more aggressive side to it, but to be frank, that side is also a genuine part. I don't know if we should necessarily lead with that picture, but I do think it has a place in the article.

In one version, the infobox has a blurb about the results of the rally. While it's certainly accurate to say that the pro-life movement has accomplished these results, I'm not sure if we can give credit to the rally itself as opposed to the movement as a whole. After all, it's not like we march once a year and then forget about it, or as if legislation is passed only after the rally. If we're going to have this sort of blurb, we at least have to source it, otherwise it's just our own opinion.

How do you feel about this? Dylan Flaherty (talk) 03:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know that anyone will object, but I just removed the gallery of photos at the bottom of the article. It had been tagged for removal months ago. While there's room for a few photos, I don't think we can fit in that many without looking like a photo album instead of an encyclopedia. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 03:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Very true, we should probably try to keep a few through out the article. The obama picture shouldn't be the epitome of the March, the ip who keeps moving it to the top the article has a fairly transparent agenda. I was the one who initially wrote the blurb about the results, I was basing this off the writing of the National Equality March which claims the Mathew Sheppard act as a result. I'm not really sure of any relevant guidelines or precedents for these things outside of that. Any thoughts? - Schrandit (talk) 13:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe have one row of pictures at the bottom (rather than the original 4 rows)? - Schrandit (talk) 13:20, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
My agenda is indeed transparent. I put the Obama picture in the infobox as more of a general objection to your repeated deletion of it from the gallery. As for the Results tab, feel free to readd it, but please cite evidence in support of claims that, say, the March for Life is responsible for "a decline in the number of abortions," or support that the March has in fact led to the introduction and passage into law of particular bills.
I'll look for some citations, keep in mind the other march didn't have to cite any. - Schrandit (talk) 20:59, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
As for a row of pictures, it seems to me that the three on the page are fairly sufficient in describing the March, as well as providing an idea of associated events. Do you disagree that they are sufficient? (talk) 16:28, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Placing the Obama picture in the infobox doesn't seem neutral; the current photo is better. The other two that we have right now are not that interesting, since they both show crowds as seen from the distance. As a compromise, why don't we remove one of the crowds and replace it with the Obama picture? This way, it stays in the article, but not in an unduly prominent position, and we get rid of a photo that could just as easily have been a big sale at Walmart. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 23:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Dylan, but I think the Obama picture is much too prominently displayed in the version you propose. In a gallery, why not - alongside pictures of Democrats for Life, etc, to show the diversity of views in the crowd. But this being the only close-up picture, I believe its presence distorts the article and is not encyclopedic.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 14:32, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I feel the page is pretty acceptable right now; the gallery really was overkill, and the handful of images up right now do their job in illustrating what the rally is largely about. (talk) 16:28, 29 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Two comments, two conflicting opinions.
Matthew, I would not object to the Obama picture being in the gallery, but I do object to the idea of a gallery; we had one and it didn't work. If you're concerned about balance, dig up another photo that has legible signs that aren't quite so aggressive.
In my own experience, the Godwin's law violations weren't common, but plenty of signs were nearly as aggressive, so it's not a violation of neutrality. Certainly, many many signs called abortionists "baby-killers", compared the abortions to the Holocaust or were otherwise less than entirely moderate. That's just how the movement is, and this march reflects it. In my personal opinion, this isn't the most productive way to stop abortion, but I'm hardly in charge. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 23:01, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Dylan, there are two different issues here:
1) Gallery or no gallery? I'm pretty agnostic on this in principle - though I agree that the previous one was too long, and included pictures of uncertain interest. Also, pictures are trickier than text in respect to NPOV - overdoing pictures on an article related to a contentious issue, like this one, opens up a can of worms. If a gallery were reinstated, I'd support it being of 4 or 5 "factual" pictures, not 20.
2) If there are to be only 3 or 4 pictures throughout the article, out of many more available, it should clearly be possible to reach a consensus on each one of them - which is not the case for the "Obama-Hitler" picture - I feel that it is simply too polemic and obviously unrepresentative (I've never been to the MFL, but you apparently have and seem to agree) to be the one close-up in the article.
As for finding other photos with legible signs, I believe File:No FOCA.jpg or File:PersonhoodSupremeCourt.JPG are informative and not contentious - I suggest replacing the "Obama-Hitler" picture with one of them.
On another (related) matter: I believe you took away the picture of the Verizon center that illustrated the section dedicated to the event that takes place there - it may be an unexciting picture, but it is informative and, I believe, deserves to be reinstated.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 13:15, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I am, for the record, very pro-gallery (but no more than 1 row of pictures). - Schrandit (talk) 20:59, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It's not just for the record. Your opinion counts as much as mine, so I'd like to work towards a consensus here. It doesn't seem that anyone supports the old mega-gallery, but there's some support for maybe a half dozen well-chosen photographs. Personally, I wouldn't do this, but it's not my article, so I won't oppose it, either.
The question that remains is how we would choose the images. On the one hand, we want them to be representative, which doesn't mean average but informative. On the other hand, we also don't want them to be dull, which I think many of the crowd pictures are, even when they're technically well done.
As for the Obama/Hitler sign, I have to say that, while it was not average, it was not terribly out of place. There seems to be some support for its inclusion, although perhaps for different reasons. My reason is that it shows how sincere and heartfelt our opposition to abortion is. Yes, it's a bit overboard and not necessarily very conducive to civil debate, but it's raw and real. We need to capture that reality. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 03:14, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

As you may have seen, I edited the article in the direction that seems to be the consensus - a short gallery. Do see it as a proposal, obviously open to discussion. Concerning the images in the text - it seems to make sense to illustrate the section on attendance with probably the most eloquent picture of the crowd size; and the Verizon picture illustrates the "Catholic events" section. As for the gallery - my idea is to start with two pictures representing the mainstream of the MFL (Catholic diocese, banner for one of the main organizations); then go to the more unusual - Democrats for Life; the Obama-Hitler guy; and pro-life rabbis. Does that seem reasonable?--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 01:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Aside from a typo I fixed, I'm thinking that shrinking the Obama photo make it fit in that row also makes the signs illegible. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 01:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree with the Obama-Hitler picture being so prominently displayed. I believe it may have its place in the gallery, in the context of other atypical pictures - but clearly not in the main body of the article, where the few pictures should be more representative of the mainstream of the event. I don't believe the legibility of the sign is an argument: you could say the same of most of the other pictures in the gallery.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 11:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Compared to "Democrats for Life", the Obama poster was typical. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 12:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure how to tell - and one could certainly make the opposite case: DFLA hosts an official event linked to the MFL, whereas the Obama-Hitler guy probably doesn't; and my wild guess is that posters like his would be discouraged by organizers of the MFL, DFLA banners not.
At any rate, we're speaking here in degrees of "atypicality". If the Obama-Hitler picture belongs anywhere (which is debatable), it's in the gallery, certainly not in the main article.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 14:35, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Make the text legible in the gallery and you've got a deal. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 02:13, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe tinkering with the size will achieve much - gallery formats aren't that versatile. As you may see in the article, I've edited my previous proposal with a more detailed caption to the picture. I don't myself think of this as an improvement, but as a compromise so we can close this issue.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 13:41, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I tweaked the size, so now it's fine. Glad we could come to a mutually acceptable compromise. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 01:55, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

OK - I don't know if a gallery with such large pictures is consistent with WP policy, but I won't myself challenge it.--Matthew Moorhead (talk) 12:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

If it's not, we'll just revert. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 12:54, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Do it in a montage![edit]

Hey chiefs, I know I'm a little late but I had a thought. I do a lot of work on the Korean War article and as you would expect we have a lot of awesome photos that would better inform the reader. One of the solutions was to combine a few of the better ones in the infobox. Any chance at doing that here? - Schrandit (talk) 07:51, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Always fade out in a montage, If you fade out, it seems like more time has passed in a montage.
No, wait, that's something else. :-)
Here, a montage would be great for the sort of long shots of crowd scenes that were cut together for the Korean War article, but we have to be careful. In that montage, only one photo had legible text, so it had to be twice as wide. All five of our gallery photos have legible text that's important.
For example, the Democrats for Life photo has a legible sign identifying the group. With that sign, the photo makes it clear that pro-life crosses party lines. Without that sign, it's just another crowd scene. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 13:00, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Dylan that a montage may not add much to the photos currently displayed. I could see how it could be useful for displaying, for example, pictures of four or five notable speakers, etc, but such pictures aren't currently in the article. --Matthew Moorhead (talk) 22:26, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The accuracy of the attendance is GREATLY suspect. As a resident of Washington, DC who has personally witnessed this event for nearly a decade it is hardly fathomable the event draws anywhere near the volume this page has cited. Attendance of 250,000 to 400,000? The inauguration itself drew 600,000 and it shut the city down. This event on an annual basis minimally makes a mark and the attendance drawn has to be closer to the order of 1,000 to 5,000 patrons compared to the dubious 400,000 cited on the page through a less then credible "" citation. This count cannot be accepted without a more verifiable source. The Washington Times source provided does not provide any official account of the attendance aside from a visual count from one of its organizers. This count again, is entirely suspect and therefore earns a dubious tag. This tag should be removed with a more verifiable crowd estimate, or at least one not coming from an event organizer itself.

(talk) 12:21, 25 January 2012 (EST) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Will do. Adding photos from the event as well as "more verifiable" sources for the numbers right now.--immewnity (talk) 20:29, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Official website[edit]

The official website has changed to (talk) 19:03, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Accuracy and Trump White House[edit]

The White House has just provided a statement to NBC News about the 2017 Women's March and it references this event and includes statistics that are also in this article.

The statistics don't come from very reliable sources, so I'm adding a factual accuracy template to the article so people can either find more reliable sources or change/remove the statistics. Tom W (talk) 13:40, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

@Tomwood0: I would vote to get that stat out of the article as I can't seem to find a non-partisan source to support that one, not even Fox News. But gee, the New York Daily News bought it.

This just in according to the New York Daily News:[1]

Bluesphere 15:57, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Oh ok, but still a statement from an administration official? It was presented on Meet The Press this morning. (Not that it should matter that much to this information in this article). Tom W (talk) 16:01, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Kindly note the statement itself was: "It's a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers in DC (650,000 in 2013) and will be happening next Friday, will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got - and those pro-life members were NOT welcome at the Women's March." - do note that this is framed in a way that states that the organization says they'll be getting 650k. That has no apparent reflection on reality, it is just what the organizers have claimed annually since 2013. All things coming from are suspect at this point Jknizer (talk) 04:17, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

"overall goal of the march"[edit]

The article linked to quotes a founder of the march as saying "we are here to say ... that R v Wade must be overturned". Nothing about reducing access to the procedure. And in any case, why go to a NYTimes article to get the "overall goal"? Why not go to the source itself? --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 16:38, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

@Richardson mcphillips: It's already implied though not explicitly stated that the march's goal would be to make abortion illegal if they want to overturn Roe v. Wade, since it's made abortion legal to all states. And I think the source was taken from The New York Times in order not to make the article partisan. Bluesphere 04:32, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Wouldn't that sort of "drawing out of implications" be original research? It seems somewhat partial - they probably don't want to "reduce" access to the procedure, but eliminate access to the procedure. In terms of being partisan, the event itself is partisan, and this article is about the event. I think a primary source is better than a secondary interpretive source, although I don't know Wiki policy well enough to know if that is what Wiki wants. Richardson mcphillips (talk) 12:26, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

@Richardson mcphillips: I'll just reword that sentence without the "overall goal" phrase since I agree that that constitutes WP:OR. I'll see what I can do about the "reduce/ban access to the procedure" part real quick. Bluesphere 13:16, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for considering my commentsRichardson mcphillips (talk) 14:20, 28 January 2017 (UTC).

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