March for Life: Frustrated pro-life activists and politicians rally after the abortion ban vote goes down.

What Frustrated Pro-Life Activists and Politicians Are Saying at Today’s March for Life

What Frustrated Pro-Life Activists and Politicians Are Saying at Today’s March for Life

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Jan. 22 2015 3:18 PM

What Frustrated Pro-Life Activists and Politicians Are Saying at Today’s March for Life

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Pro-life activists at the March for Life.

Photo by Betsy Woodruff

There’s a bit of a pall hanging over today’s March for Life. The event was supposed to coincide with passage of a 20-week abortion ban in the House of Representatives. But Republican leaders pulled the bill late last night, robbing the marchers of what would have been a symbolic victory.

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A group of pro-life teens at the March for Life.

Photo by Betsy Woodruff

Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists from across the country pour into D.C. for the March for Life. Many school and college groups bus in their members, so it’s typically a much younger, more energetic crowd than you might see at a Tea Party rally.

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This year the members of Congress who spoke to the crowd were in damage control mode. Rep. Chris Smith, a devout Catholic from New Jersey, assured everyone that the 20-week abortion ban would eventually get a vote.

“Our leadership is true, they are faithful, and they will bring that legislation to the floor,” he said. “And we will pass it.”

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March for Life

Photo by Betsy Woodruff

Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was on stage with a group of pro-life Republican lawmakers (plus Rep. Daniel Lipinski, a pro-life Democrat from Illinois), also promised marchers that the bill would eventually get a vote.

That message is less than stirring—it will happen at some point is not quite as good as we did it!—and pro-life leaders at the event seemed frustrated. Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, said she was disappointed with the last-minute cancellation of the bill. And Russell Moore, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called the vote cancellation “a disappointing failure.”

“This is a very basic, common-sense bill that should have been a no-brainer for the House,” he said. “I hope the House fixes this very quickly. I’ve been told they will, and I hope that’s true.”