In the days leading up to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Americans have shown up in droves at rallies across the country in a show of solidarity against abortion.
Some 3,000 people in Portland, Ore., called for an end to abortion this past weekend while thousands more in other U.S. cities continued the call this week. Some have begun to load buses to head to the nation's capital for the annual March for Life on Friday.
"For the church, both historically and theologically, the issue of abortion is rather quite simple. Since God is the author of all life, all life is valuable at every stage," states Hawaii Right to Life, which is planning its own local march and rally on Friday. "In a culture that considers death a viable instrument for its solving its problems, the Christian community must speak with a strong and unified voice."
Friday marks the 37th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Pro-lifers, who assert that life begins at conception, say this year's collective efforts are even more significant than ever as Congress considers health care reform legislation that could allow taxpayer dollars to cover abortions. Conservatives and Christian groups warn that passage of a bill with abortion coverage would be the greatest expansion of government-backed abortion since Roe v. Wade.
Tens of thousands of pro-lifers are expected to flood Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., in a march up Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court and to the Congress. Marchers will be sending the message to legislators that they are there on a work day in the middle of winter to overturn Roe v. Wade and protest anti-life policies.
International pro-life leaders from Africa, Europe, South America, Asia and Oceania are joining the march to protest President Barack Obama's policies that promote abortion worldwide.
"This is not only the anniversary of Roe v. Wade," said Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International Regional Coordinator for Asia and Oceania. "This is now the anniversary of President Obama's allowing Americans' taxpayer funds to be used to promote abortion and other assaults on life in my own country of the Philippines, in Africa, in China ... all over the world where 40 million babies are killed every year. It is wrong and we are here to tell him and Congress to stop paying to kill our children!"
Last January, just days after being inaugurated as the 44th U.S. president, Obama signed an executive order overturning the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding for overseas abortion providers.
This year's theme for March for Life is "Stand Up Now! Unite for the Life Principles – No Exception! No Compromise!"
Ahead of the massive march, thousands plan to rally in front of the White House on Thursday to bring the Life Principles to President Obama. A comprehensive statement of the position motivating the pro-life movement, the Life Principles state, among other things, "all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life" and "when there is any doubt that there exists a human being's life to preserve and protect, such doubt shall be resolved In favor of the existence of a human being."
"If this basic right (right to life) is weakened, all other rights are meaningless, as disparagement of the value and dignity of human beings will then permeate our society's mentality and the Laws of our Land – contrary to our common good," the Life Principles document states.
Since 1973, more than 50 million abortions have taken place.