Not even the 14 degree Fahrenheit weather and the freezing wind was going to stop the anti-abortion protestors on Wednesday, as March for Life held its annual rally on the 41st year anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, a Supreme Court ruling that declared a constitutional right to abortions.
"We come here every year and freeze our buns off," said Steve Antosh, 57, of Fairfax, Va. told USA Today. "There is not just a moral problem, there is a political problem."
Due to the low temperatures, some Washington-bound trains and buses were cancelled. Yet protestors from different states such as Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and major cities like Cleveland, Buffalo, and Chicago marched through the snowy-covered National Mall to protest legalized abortions and hopefully change people's minds about this divisive issue. Several groups held up signs such as "We are the Pro-life generation" and "I was conceived by rape. I love my life." Others held up signs that read "#Teamlife."
The protest drew many Catholic high schools and colleges along with several friars and nuns for a series of events and prayer vigils that led up to the rally on the mall. One significant difference in this rally compared to the previous ones were the lack of graphic images of fetuses and the bombardment of angry sermons.
Kathryn Brown, 20, came from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., through a two-day bus ride to Washington D.C. She and hundreds of her fellow students led a march from the mall to Supreme Court.
"The amazing thing is, they aren't there because they're mad at the government; they're there out of love, sacrificing themselves in the cold out of love," she told Washington Post.
This year's theme is "Adoption: A Noble Decision."
Jeanne Monahan, the newly installed president of March for Life, told CNN, "Our theme this year is adoption, and that adoption is a noble decision for a birth mother." Monahan said the group is trying the best they can to create adoptions on top of preventing abortions.
"We're trying to do everything we can to encourage women who are facing an unexpected pregnancy to choose life."
March of Life received blessings from Pope Francis on Wednesday through Twitter.
"I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable," he tweeted.
The protestors have argued that under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, insurance plans will pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Moreover, under the plan, the taxpayer's money will be used to cover abortions. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the rally that Republican-controlled chamber will try to approve the measure to stop taxpayer funding for abortions next week.
"We cannot allow the opponents of life to continually weaken the moral fabric of our country," Cantor said at the rally on the National Mall.
According to a poll conducted by CNN and ORC last May, 36% of Americans said abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, 42% said it should be legal in few circumstances. However, a minority of Americans, 20%, believe in no abortion under any circumstance.
President Barack Obama issued a statement the day of the rally.
"We recommit ourselves to the decision's guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman's access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom," the statement read.