Abortion rally targets minds, not bills

I had the privilege of covering a rally today in 20-degree weather. The trickiest part is trying to keep your fingers warm enough to write legibly on your notepad. I definitely rely much more on my recorder in the winter, and I didn’t even glance at my scribbles when I got back to the office. I just listened to all the audio and typed everything out, a time killer I usually try to avoid with some sort of shorthand.

As for the rally itself, today was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and anti-abortion protesters held their annual, massive march around the Capitol to the Supreme Court. This is a tricky one to cover, 1) because it has already been written about a million ways and 2) it’s difficult to write a piece with bird’s eye clarity when you’re in the thick of a crowd with tens of thousands of people.

Still, my editor helped me come up with a good angle on it. We basically asked: If so many people come out every year, what do they get out of it?

Here’s what we figured out:

The biggest annual rally in D.C. may also be one of the least political.

Tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists joined by dozens of conservative lawmakers shut down city blocks around Capitol Hill Monday as they protested the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

They prayed and sang together, using the occasion to remind each other and the public of their conviction.

But the “March for Life” attendees didn’t use their show of force to lobby for a specific bill or legislative agenda.

In fact, while activists agreed that the landmark Supreme Court decision should be overturned, some said it was unlikely and others disagreed about how to do so.

“Sure, if we could completely outlaw abortion, that would be fine with me. But I live in the real world,” Bob Szerszynski said.

Read on at Congress.org.

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