Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

A real report on the March for Life

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade. On Jan. 25, hundreds of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C. to protest the decision, like we do every year. This year’s March was the largest yet. March for Life organizers estimated that around 500,000 were in attendance — other sources estimated 650,000. Yet, one would be hard-pressed to find an accurate report of the March in any major news source. The New York Times hasn’t covered the March in years. But this year they did — to talk about gun control.

This should cause concern for anyone, not just those who are pro-life. If there are over half a million people protesting anything, especially if they do it year after year, most people want to know about it, even if they don’t agree with the protesters.

Those news sources that do briefly cover the March tend to speak of “thousands” or “tens of thousands” of people — clearly inaccurate estimates. At the same time, these sources try to exaggerate the number of people protesting in support of Roe vs. Wade. In reality, most people at the March don’t notice any pro-choice protesters, though there is always a handful around the steps of the Supreme Court — in the past three years I have never seen more than 20.

Finally, the demographics of the March reflected a group more diverse than many may think. As usual, the majority of people were young. Many college, high school and even middle school students attend every year. Men and women were represented equally. This year, eight members of MIT Pro-Life participated. Not everyone in the crowd was religious. Yes, many banners were from Catholic churches, but there were also protestant groups, Orthodox Jews, and a group with a banner saying “Secular Pro-Life: for the embryology textbook tells me so.”Many people also carried personal banners. Some thanked their mothers for gaving birth to them in difficult circumstances. Others read “I was conceived by rape and I love my life”, “I regret my lost fatherhood”, “I regret my abortion”.

Georgina Botka ’14

Vice-President

MIT Pro-Life

5 Comments
1
Anonymous about 5 years ago

"In reality, most people at the March dont notice any pro-choice protesters"

Well, yeah. You wouldn't really show up to a pro-life march to protest pro-choice. I'm not really sure that would accomplish much.

"At the same time, these sources try to exaggerate the number of people protesting in support of Roe vs. Wade"

The March for Women's Lives (which was way back in '04) had more attendees than this year's March for Life, so I don't think you even need to exaggerate anything re. support for Roe vs. Wade.

2
Natalia about 5 years ago

Although there were more attendees at the one-time March for Women's Lives, March for Life has been occurring every year since Roe v. Wade was passed and for the past ten years, has had attendance over 250,000, increasing every year.

However, as significant as numbers are, how an event is reported is also important. Major news channels rarely cover March for Life and when they do, only refer to it as "Anti-abortion protest" or similar titles, and never call it by name. Also, coverage is skewed, as in the Washington Post's photo slideshow of last year's March. My experience was walking in an endless crowd of cheerful, smiling, and singing Marchers. I didn't see any pro-choice demonstrators and those I knew who did only saw a few. However, the Washington Post's images showed equal proportions of pro-life and pro-choice individuals and, contrary to the mood of the March, only included images of pro-life Marchers who were frowning or arguing.

Regardless of opinion on the issue of life, it needs to be said that the media blatantly ignoring a major gathering of diverse individuals from all over the country that occurs year after year in a highly public place is nothing short of outright censorship.

3
Matt about 5 years ago

I was conceived by rape and I love my life, I regret my lost fatherhood, I regret my abortion

That's nice, but it's irrelevant to the actual debate. If the "pro-life" camp wants to be taken seriously, they should stop with this kind of meaningless, emotional bullshit.

I highly recommend that everyone (on both sides of the issue) read this blog post. It's filled with actual facts (with sources!) and logic, not emotional arguments:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

tl;dr: Just scroll down and read the section headers

4
Anonymous about 5 years ago

The Tech should have a policy of only printing letters that are related to a Tech article, or at least be about an issue with an MIT connection. (8 MIT people attending an off-campus event doesn't count.)

5
Socialist Worker about 5 years ago

Abortion rights were won in the streets by young people. I know because I was one of them. A Republican Supreme court ratified Roe v. Wade Right to Life is at the center of a new American Fascist movement. They will stop at nothing to turn back the clock of time