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March for Life
January 21st, 2014
02:24 PM ET

Six surprising changes to the anti-abortion March for Life

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - For decades, the March for Life has followed a familiar formula: Bus in thousands of abortion opponents. Protest in front of the Supreme Court. Go home.

But this year, in addition to braving snow and bone-chilling wind, the March will move in a different direction, says Jeanne Monahan, president of the anti-abortion group.

Long-winded political speeches? See ya.

An exclusive focus on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that lifted restrictions on abortion? Gone.

A hipster Catholic musician, evangelical leaders and March for Life app? Welcome to the protest.

And those changes just skim the surface.

The March for Life, billed as the world’s largest anti-abortion event, is remaking itself in deeper ways as well, says Monahan.

For its first 40 years, the march was marshaled by Nellie Gray, an occasionally irascible Catholic who had little use for modern technology, political compromise or the mainstream media.

Gray died in her home office in 2012 at age 88. A short time later, Monahan was named her successor at the March for Life.

While abortion opponents praise Gray’s legacy, there’s a popular saying around the March for Life’s Washington headquarters: “We’re a brand-new, 41-year-old organization.”

The goal: to turn their annual, one-day demonstration into a potent political machine.

Abortion rights advocates say they’re skeptical that March for Life leaders can convince more Americans to join their cause. Since 1989, the percentage who want to overturn Roe has barely budged above 30%.

“It’s an impressive show,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, says of the March for Life. “But at the end of the day, they have failed dramatically at their goal.”

Still, even O’Brien expressed respect for his foes’ new plans. “It’s pretty clever, actually.”

With that in mind, here are six big ways the March for Life is changing this year:

1) 9 to 5

Since 1974, the March for Life has made a really loud noise every January 22, the anniversary of Roe. V. Wade.

Estimates of the crowd’s size vary, but it seems safe to say tens of thousands have attended the protest each year.

Organizers estimate that at least 50% of the marchers are under 18, as busloads of Catholic school kids descend on the capital from across the country.

But some abortion opponents complain the March for Life had morphed in recent years from a political demonstration to a photo op.

Ryan Bomberger, an anti-abortion activist who is speaking at march events, says the protest needs to find ways to harness its youthful energy throughout the year.

“You’ve got all these young people with energy and passion and the desire to do something about the injustice of abortion. But what do they do when they leave the march and go home?”

March for Life leaders want to turn its young protesters into citizen lobbyists, much like Tea Party partisans and the Obama campaign did with their troops.

The key to that, says March for Life's Chairman of the Board Patrick Kelly, is to keep them engaged throughout the year, including through social media. (More on that later.)

In addition to Monahan, an experienced Washington politico, the March for Life has beefed up its Washington office by hiring a full-time lobbyist and social media manager who will also lead outreach to evangelicals, a big and politically active constituency.

The focus this year will be combating the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which requires most companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. Abortion opponents say that some covered services are tantamount to abortion.

2) If You’ve Got the Money, We've Got the Time

For decades, the March for Life subsisted on a meager budget: Just $150,000 a year, according to tax filings from 2009-2011.

But new Washington offices, lobbyists and social media managers don’t come cheap. Fortunately for the March for Life, a donor who was a friend of Gray’s bequeathed $550,000 to the organization last year.

That, along with a more robust fund-raising campaign, has allowed the March to increase its budget from $252,000 when Monahan took over in 2012,  to $780,000 this year.

“We are professionalizing the March for Life,” said Kelly.

3) With Arms Wide Open 

Though various religious groups oppose abortion (many support abortion rights as well) the March for Life has come to be considered mainly a Catholic event.

Catholic clergy offer prayers, Catholic politicians make speeches and Catholic school kids fill out the rank-and-file.

Monahan says this year will different.

The March for Life has hired a full-time staffer devoted to bringing more Protestant evangelicals to the protest, and they hope to see that effort bear fruit this Wednesday.

They’ve tapped James Dobson, founder of the evangelical powerhouse ministry Focus on the Family, as a keynote speaker. Dobson and his adopted son, Ryan, will talk about adoption, an issue close to the heart of many evangelicals.

4) The Hardest Part

For the first time in its 41 years, the March for Life will focus on an issue besides abortion on Wednesday.

Through Dobson and other speakers, the march is also promoting the idea of “noble adoption” as an alternative to abortion.

“Adoption is a heroic decision for pregnant mothers who find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Monahan. “We want to eliminate the stigma of adoption and encourage women to pursue this noble option.”

The spotlight on adoption dovetails with new focus within the anti-abortion movement on crisis pregnancy centers, which urge women to carry their pregnancy to term.

Critics charge that the centers divulge false medical information about abortion and deceive unwitting patients into thinking they provide abortions, only to advise them otherwise. Supporters say they help women through financial assistance, counseling and adoption referrals.

5) Wish You Were Here

Despite the youth of many March for Life participants, the group’s website had been decidedly Web 1.0.

Under Monahan, that has changed dramatically.

The group posts Instagram pics of chilly protesters trudging through snow at past marches on Throwback Thursdays. They upload posts about prenatal development to Pinterest and tweet throughout the year, including this one about the difficult choices pregnant women sometimes face.

For the more technically advanced, the March has developed an app that connects to a 360-degree camera so folks can follow the protest from home. The app also has anti-abortion information, links to articles about adoption and tips for lobbying Congress.

“We have to find a way to take those boots on the ground and talk to them throughout the year,” says Kelly. “And with Facebook and Twitter and other social media we have the tools to do so.”

The March is also hoping for a high-profile social media endorsement on Wednesday: Monahan says she’s asked the Vatican to send a tweet from the Pope in support of the March for Life.

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Monahan got her papal tweet.

6) Yakety Yak

Imagine listening to politicians drone on for hours about their voting records in the chilly January air.

Fun, right?

Monahan didn’t think so either, so she’s trying to accomplish a minor miracle: limiting the speaking time of politicians at the pre-march rally.

Only a handful of politicians, including House Majority Leader Eric Canton, R-Virginia, and Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois, have been invited to speak. They’ve all been asked to keep their speeches to a just a few minutes.

“In past years our rally has gone on for two or three hours and people lost interest,” Monahan says.

So, instead of boring speeches, the rally this year will feature a live concert by Matt Maher, a Catholic singer-songwriter with a huge following among young Christians.

So, will all this make any difference?

Clearly, changes are afoot this year at the March for Life. But what effect, if any, will they have on the larger anti-abortion movement?

Not much, says Ziad Munson, a sociologist at Lehigh University and author of the book “The Making of Pro-life Activists.”

The March for Life hasn’t really been politically influential since the early 1990s, says Munson. Meanwhile, other abortion opponents, like Catholic bishops and National Right to Life Committee, have led the charge.

“In effect, what we’re seeing is a new organization within a movement, not a new approach,” he says. “I don’t think the March for Life is likely to make inroads that haven’t already been made.”

Monahan is more optimistic.

If the March can recruit even a slice of its youthful protesters into citizen activists, she says, it might be enough to tip the balance in a country deeply divided on the morality of abortion.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Bioethics • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Ethics • evangelicals • Politics • Women

soundoff (1,983 Responses)
  1. shawbrooke

    Crisis Pregnancy Centres and Planned Parenthood have well maintained reputations. No doubt there's considerable self selection among their clients. For either to claim that the other misleads clients on what they do is disingenuous at best.

    January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
  2. ABC

    I don't see all the pro-life people out adopting homeless animals from shelters, that will be killed because no one wants them...what makes a dog, cat, or any other animal for that matters life less valuable than that of a human are we that ignorant to think that we are the superiors and get to decide?

    January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sherman

      "what makes a dog, cat, or any other animal for that matters life less valuable than that of a human"

      You can't be serious.... are you?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • igaftr

        Very serious.

        It is a very Buddhist point of view, and since much of what Jesus allegedly said came straight from the Buddha, you may want to study some of what Buddha had to say.

        What makes you think that YOUR life is a more important life form to the universe that any other life?

        January 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • jamespshelley

          Because an animal isn't going to pay the bills you a55clown.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • igaftr

          nothing of value to say, and an insult to boot...wow...your mom must be so proud.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
      • ABC

        Definitely serious, just because you think you are a superior race to a dog, cat or anything, it is okay for you to decide to euthanize it and end it's life because it has been in the shelter for longer than 6 months. Like they have an expiration date on the bottom of their paw. Who are we to decide that. And if it's overpopulation you are worried about, than you should be pro-choice as well.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Sherman

          Are you a vegetarian?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • ABC

          I believe in pro-choice, so whether or not I am a vegetarian does not matter, I am saying if you are pro-life what gives you the audacity to say a fetus's life is more important that an animal? All life should be created equal in a pro-lifer's eyes or they are hypocrits.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • ABC

          James, an animal isn't going to pay the bills just as much as a fetus will not be able to pay the bills, in fact having an animal instead of a baby may help you to pay your bills as animals are much cheaper than babies.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Sherman

          ABC

          "what makes a dog, cat, or any other animal for that matters life less valuable than that of a human"

          I'll ask again–are you a vegetarian? If not, what was the point of that post?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • beancounterz

          First of all, dog/cat/ are not "race" but Genus/species. So I am assuming you are a white anglo-saxon prodestant (sp) playing the race card.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • ME II

          @ABC,
          I think "pro-life" usually implies "pro-[human] life", not all life.

          January 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nexus974

      What evidence do you have to back up that assertion?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • ABC

        The evidence would be everytime I go to the humane society there aren't protesters outside making you feel awful for not adopting an animal.

        And, animals are still being euthanized, but their is no fight to end it.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Nexus974

          What evidence do you have that no one in a pro-life rally has adopted pets?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
    • BobPitt

      I don't see all the pro-life people out adopting homeless kids... after they are born they have no value to them..

      January 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Nexus974

        You have no clue how many adopted children anyone has.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          There's plenty of idea on how many they don't have.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
  3. cherish Sicking

    Some of the comments just show how hard hearted and cold we've become. If you believe the news reports, which are biased to pro-choice then you really don't want to be educated with the truth. We are missing 1/3rd of our population that could have found cures for diseases, been someone wife or husband who can't find that special someone. Every day there is more than the twin towers perishing every day it's a tower of babies every day, Islam has a plan and it will work to let all our countries kill there babies and now there elderly. They are having up to eight children per family, They will out number us by 2050 which will over take our population. Our poor children and Grandchildren. Future generations will read in history what we allowed. This is not heath care! This is an option, Doctors promise to save life's not destroy it. How can we allow babies to be killed up to 24 weeks the same babies can live out of the womb. you can see them suck there thumb at twelve weeks. It's common sense. What follows is a women never forgets the baby they gave up to a cruel death. The statistics show a high rate of depression. Adoption is such better option for everyone involved.

    January 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      Or maybe every aborted foetus would have grown up to be the next Hitler. God Bless Abortion.

      January 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • Scarface86

        Are you going to say that when people choose to abort a baby because it is female? Are you going to say that if people abort a baby because it is gay (that is if they ever find a gay gene)?

        January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Yep. God Bless Abortion.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • Observer

      cherish Sicking,

      You want to ADD many kids to the list of TENS of THOUSANDS who are already available for adoption.

      How many will you adopt?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Topher

        This is really a fallacious argument. Let's stop making everyone else deal with the problem and take responsibility for our own actions. What a "gimme-a-handout" culture we've become.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          "Let's stop making everyone else deal with the problem and take responsibility for our own actions."

          Yep. You won't adopt and she has taken action.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Topher

          Or she should take responsibility and either raise it or give it to someone who is willing.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Pete

          Judging by the large number of children currently up for adoption in the U.S.A. it appears that there are not that many people willing to adopt all of these unwanted babies.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher

          "Or she should take responsibility and either raise it or give it to someone who is willing."

          There are TENS of THOUSANDS of kids up for adoption now. So who is willing? Are you volunteering?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Nexus974

          @Pete So they are better off dead?

          January 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • Sherman

        By your reasoning, we should just all those awaiting adoption to solve the problem.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Sherman

          Last post should have said "By your reasoning, we should just kill all those awaiting adoption to solve the problem."

          January 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Cera

          By your reasoning, we should just warehouse unwanted and unadopted children. Oh, wait. We are.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Sherman

          What would you have us do with them?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • igaftr

      You are really all over the map there. Especially the part where you want us to have more children JUST so that we can somehow compete with muslims who are having children...incredibly inane.

      When all of the children who currently are up for adoption actually get adopted, you may have more ammunition for your point, but since MANY children are not getting adopted as it is, how is adding more children going to help?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • Sherman

        "When all of the children who currently are up for adoption actually get adopted, you may have more ammunition for your point, but since MANY children are not getting adopted as it is, how is adding more children going to help?"

        I'm really not understanding your point–abortion should be allowed, no matter how morally reprehensible, just to reduce the number of unadopted chiildren?

        January 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • igaftr

          Sherman
          If you read my REPLY to the original post, so you would have context, you should not need to ask your question.

          The OP wanted us to make more children so that we could compete with the muslims, and said there is always adoption. Since adoption is not working...it is a bad tactic without extensive planning.

          How many people are out there who want to adopt, or are thinking about it? No one knows, so increasing the supply without increasing the demand will only end up with more full orphanages.

          How many want to adopt a child that has fetal alcohol syndrome, crack addicted babies, babies from too young mothers who did not eat anywhere near properly, downs syndrome, from a different race...not many....

          I am not advocating for more abortions as a solution, but more adoptions is not an answer without a lot more infrastructure.

          January 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Topher

    "Prior to 1973, America was a nation of people who made sacrifices so their children would have an easier life. In 1973, America became a nation of people who sacrifed their chidren in order to have an easier life." - Mike S. Adams

    January 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • Winston

      I tend to agree with the quote.

      January 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Robert Bells

        @Winston. You're the one that's full of short, sarcastic sayings.
        Call the two sides their proper true names: not Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. The crux of the matter is abortion.
        The two sides are really Pro-Abortion or Anti-Abortion.
        And both sides have significant arguments: Economics and Pragmatics vs. Theology and Humanity
        Just be glad @Winston that your mother didn't decide to abort.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Winston

          Huh?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Observer

          Robert Bells,

          Completely WRONG. The sides are pro-choice and anti-choice and you are obviously on the anti-choice side.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Just be glad Robert that YOUR mother's egg didn't miss your father's speerm during inception... and you were flushed out of your mother's cervix and into the toilet... that would've been a shame.

          Does my stupid comment make you feel better about yours?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      Nice sound bite. Absolute drivel, but nice nonetheless.

      January 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      prior to 1973, women died in back alley abortions because they couldn't go to a hospital.

      January 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Winston

        All that means is that there were women who were desperate to terminate their pregnancies for various reasons. It does not address whether or not it was murder to do so.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Topher

        Right. So every time someone is willing to break the law and harm themselves in the process, we should change that law and make it legal. Let's just disregard why that law was made in the first place. Ridiculous.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        Always seems funny when men argue over a woman's body, and wat she wants to do with it. Sounds a bit controlling, no?

        January 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Thomas

          All laws are about control, no? Can't be helped that this one only applies to women. Selective service laws only apply to men.

          January 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      It's issues like the murder of innocent children that make me wish that I could take the passage "be angry and sin not," and take out the word "not..."

      January 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • Science Works

        And remember LoA sin is your deal not reality.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Science Works

          NOT so by the way LoA the pope twit above is funny really – how is god going to help ?

          Sin is a religious deal.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." ... Nope

          January 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • igaftr

        There are no innocent children...they are all sinners, right?

        Now you need to get away from the word sin, since it is ONLY in relation to YOUR beliefs, and as such cannot be legislated.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "There are no innocent children...they are all sinners, right?"
          ------
          Right. All are born sinners, that's why we sin. What the Psalmist was referring to when he said "hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination to God," was that they were innocent in the sense that they have done nothing worthy of death. And that's not MY interpretation... Read the passage as a whole.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • JB

          LoA: "All are born sinners"

          Raises an interesting question, and I'd be interested in your answer: When does that sin nature come into play–at birth, or at conception?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
  5. ART

    Its no bodies business but the woman whos pregnant

    January 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      And the baby who is being murdered...

      January 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Look up the definition of baby.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I don't care how a sinful world defines a baby. I only care how God defines one.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          god kills babies. says so in the bible. he killed lots of pregnant women too - the harshest form of abortion. do you hate god?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Riiiiiiiight. Good luck with that.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Madtown

          How would you hope to know that?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          You're equating what God does to what man does? That's the same as calling natural death a murder.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          God TORTUROUSLY "MURDERED" EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

          Read a Bible.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "God TORTUROUSLY "MURDERED" EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth"
          -----–
          No, you're equating the words "murder" and "kill." They are two different things. If our justice system kills a convicted mass murderer, is that also murder? No.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Nexus974

          When is a baby sufficiently human enough in your eyes that we don't kill it? Who among us is wise enough to decide what a person is? You?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Nexus974

          So the good people at Webster get to decide if a child is human enough to not be killed?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          "If our justice system kills a convicted mass murderer"

          It is murder...government sanctioned murder, and since we are the govt, everytime there is a fedral death penalty, we are all murderers.

          It is the premeditated taking of a human life, so what if it is legal murder, it is still murder...how is it NOT murder?

          There is a recent addition I have seen floating around where murder is defined with "unlawful" in the definition, but in actuality, that is only for reasons of application of law...doesn't change the end result that a person was killed, and it was done with premeditation.

          January 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • Observer

        Lawrence of Arabia,

        Instead of IGNORANTLY calling people "murderers", please get a dictionary and then you'll know better. Murder is ILLEGAL. Ooops.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination unto God.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          What does that have to do with what the word MURDER means? Please check a dictionary.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Pete

          When you can prove 100% that God exists, without mentioning the Bible we will discuss what god might find to be an abomination. Until that time you just look silly.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          People who keep trying to push god on an issue of legislating law are an abomination to the USA.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • Droop

        Has it EVER occurred to you that not all faiths share your viewpoint? Judaism– which Christians mistakenly believe is just Christianity without Jesus– accepts abortion as necessary and in some cases as a PREFERABLE course of action. Please stop forcing your view of "what God wants" on all Americans.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    considering the number of examples where god kills children, why would any christian think their god is against infanticide?

    god sent bears to murder 42 children because they made fun of one of his prophets for being bald.
    psalm 137 says to dash the children of your enemy's heads against the rocks.
    not only does the bible not say a bad word about abortion, it actually has an abortion recipe.
    god drowned babies in his great flood.
    god drowned pregnant women and their unborn in his great flood.
    god killed babies and pregnant women in the cities he utterly destroyed (check Sodom and Gomorrah)

    how can any christian say god is against abortion when he gives so many examples of killing children himself?

    January 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Bootyfunk,

      Answer: it's all pick and choose HYPOCRISY.

      January 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Haaaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaa. These are just minor details.... Bootyfunk. God IS Love, my friend. He IS love. The kind of love that needs blood to wash away the sins. Isn't God the best-est?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        According to the 1st Commandment, God's primary characteristic is not love, it is jealousy.
        Jealousy is an indicator of poor self-esteem and is not the basis for a healthy relationship.
        Hardly a becoming trait for an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  7. AG

    READ MY LIPS: GOD said "Life begins at CONCEPTION". What part of that do you people not understand? OR is it you go by your selfish rules. That will not get you to heaven. End of story.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      1) don't assume everyone wants to go to christian heaven. it sounds like an awful place to spend eternity. i'd rather go to hell and talk to ghandi and john lennon.
      2) where exactly in the bible did god say life begins at conception?

      January 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • AG

        You want me to go get the bible and find it! You want to go to hell, that's your prerogative, sure isn't mine. Good Luck, LOL WOW.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Observer

          AG,

          You just MADE that up. "End of story".

          January 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          “I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of Christians… so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" Christians and also most likely with creepy Mormons and Scientologists… which will indubitably suck a great deal. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET

          January 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • igaftr

          yes AG...go to your bible and find it.

          By the way, legislating from the bible is illegal, and should be criminal.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Pete

      I don't give 2 shi.ts what god has to say about anything.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • Observer

      AG,

      Why didn't you QUOTE the Bible? What verse?

      January 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jeebusss

      Not sure if trolling or actually that dumb.......

      January 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        I'm guessing troll but it's hard to guess sometimes as there are people that retarded out there.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      As a matter of fact, the Bible doesn't say that life begins at conception.
      What is says is that nobody knows when an embryo becomes a person.
      "As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything."
      – Ecclesiastes 11:5

      According to Judaic law (and aren't they the true originators of all the Abrahamic religions?) an unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud says that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.

      And lest we forget, God has COMMANDED people to commit abortion, like in Numbers 31 (wherein He also orders Moses and his people to commit r.ape)

      January 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • Alias

        But someone told me ACTS saya we don't have to follow that anymore – so god is moral again!

        January 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
  8. Jeebusss

    Different flavor, but ultimately the same brand of crazies trying to tell other people what to do because their sky wizard told them so.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  9. dbrock

    This is not a religious issue. It is a human issue that all humane Humanists should agree on.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    This is America and it's a free country. If the Christian Taliban want to march and protest anyone having the temerity to differ from their religious views, let them.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      I seem to remember you once advocating the abolition of religion. Isn't that a tad hypocritical?

      January 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        what names have you gone by on this blog?

        January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Lawrence of Arabia

    Psalm 73:2-3, 16-20

    "But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

    "When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment!
    They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form."

    January 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible also contains instructions, apparently from God, on how to mix a drink that will cause sterility and obviously an abortion.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Madtown

        " 'Apparently'?!? No, absolutely. God wrote every perfect word in the bible. Each version".

        – Topher, LoA, etc

        January 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • Cera

        Numbers 5 had that recipe.

        January 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Psalm 137:9
      9 Happy the one who will seize and dash your infants against the rock!

      January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Cera

      Numbers 5:27

      If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.

      Advocating abortion. What of this poor child being aborted? Don't you care?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  12. sammy750

    Women have the right to decide for themselves. It is NONE of anyone business other then the pregnant woman. I know the anti abortion people will KILL or MURDER if you don't agree with them. I wish they protected the lives of those already born, but they don't. They have one MISSION to control the people.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Alias

      Too bad there is no way to know for sure how much of the protest is based on trying to keep people from having dirty nasty s.e.x.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  13. Jeanette Taylor

    We should all be worried about the planet - over-population is the crux of almost every problem – overfishing, taking over habitat, poluted water, poluted air, poluted ground, etc, etc, etc. Think about how the resources are being used and abused... the solution is birth control and, unfortunately, abortion. We have to start thinking of the BIG picture - the planet...

    January 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Sampson

      Birth control is most definitely the answer; odd that these same anti-abortionists are also often anti-birth control.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  14. Alias

    Let's say – just for discussion- Roe V Wade was overturned.
    That would not make abortion illegal. It would leave it up to each stste to regulate in its own way. That would not accomplish very much, as some state would be performing all the abortions.
    Roe V Wade was a compromise. It allowed abortion with restrictions and guidelines. Maybe what the protesters should be doing is to change those restrictions? Or would that require people to abandon their blind emotional stances and think rationally?

    January 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Which is why certain GOP-controlled states are introducing artificial barriers, such as the clinic must have admissions privileges at nearby hospitals.

      January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    when does life begin?
    this short film should clear it up:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk&w=640&h=390]

    January 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      This video actually misses my favorite bit at the end with the Protestant couple.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Nexus974

        A classic skit!

        January 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
  16. Honey Badger Don't Care

    The xtian god of the bible condones slavery. I don’t know why these people are protesting. Guess they're not "real" xtians.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  17. Phil Ward

    Life is precious defend it!

    Babies to grannies life is worth living and defending.

    January 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You're absolutely right, and that is an evolutionary trait. Not Iron Age myth.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • Econ301

      Do you use hand soap?

      If so you are killing single celled organisms for your own convenience. Perhaps you should practice what you preach about defending precious life.

      Or is all life not equal in your eyes? If so then you've allowed for a distinction which some people could use to justify abortion (after all not all life is equal....)

      January 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  18. B

    Women have a right to create life and take it away. It's our choice. Most of these abortion choices, are because of some sort of hardship. Why aren't we following gendercide in Asia and India? Killing a baby before or shortly after birth simply because it is a girl, and not a boy, which they believe brings wealth and prosperity to the family. What about those babies?

    January 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Pick and Choose?

      You seem to have a problem with killing a baby because of its gender – but you consider it your "Right" to kill a baby because of personal convenience? And the Catholics are the hypocrites??? REALLY???

      January 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • Alias

        B just knows the difference between a small group of cells and a human being.

        January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Look up the definition of baby.

        January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
      • Observer

        Pick and Choose?

        You seem to have trouble figuring out the difference between a breathing, live-in-the-outside-world BABY and a developing embryo that floats in a liquid.

        January 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • Logic.

      “Women have a right to create life and take it away. It's our choice.”

      Listen to what you are saying! Do you honestly believe a mother should be able to murder her toddler because he's too much of a burden? Babies/toddlers are arguably FAR MORE of a burden than a fetus, and yet we use that as an excuse to kill them while making child abuse illegal.

      January 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    If expelling a blastocyst is the same as infanticide, then digging up an acorn is the same as felling an oak tree and squirrels are the world's greatest lumberjacks

    January 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      10+
      lol

      January 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      THIS is the world's greatest lumberjack.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zey8567bcg&w=640&h=390]

      January 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Mr. Richard Feder

      I am Pro Squirrell Abortion, and I vote.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Squirrel

        January 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • GeneticsLesson

      Doc, I love your lack of intelligence. First, you dumb down human life to plant life and then you make some correlation between the natural world (eating/foraging) and the killing of defenseless children. Oh, and don't give me that nonsense that it is not human..From the time that the two cells joined together, the map was drawn. The resulting genetic material was not destined to be no less than human. Sure, as it passed through development it may take on the appearance of simple cellular organisms, even at one point fish-like, but map its genetic code from day one and you have a human, not an acorn, or even a squirrel. And to say it is somehow not alive at some stage i to say that the very organisms you folks try to compare it to are not alive..How much more simple do we have to make it?

      January 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Who are you to declard one form of life as more important than another?

        A Candid Conversation between Two Species

        The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
        The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
        The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
        The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
        – Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life

        January 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • GeneticsLesson

          Doc, You make some of the most ignorant statements. I am human. You are human. We eat what we kill, be it plant or animal. That is nature. Sorry, I can't talk to tapeworms. Can you at least try to make some sense?

          January 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.