By: Leslie Bosslet. Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life
Media, where do you go every year in the 20’s of January? What portal do you slip through? Is there a really fun yearly journalism conference conveniently located far away from Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of Roe verses Wade?
Much like most pro-lifers, I am simply amazed by the lack of media coverage of the annual March for Life, which takes place in Washington, D.C. to protest the legality of abortion in our country. Actually, I take my first statement back. I was amazed, but now I am utterly baffled. I am spending the summer interning in the D.C. area, and I visit locations I had been with a large group of my closest 30 or 40 college friends while on the March. I see these places now during the days of summer and experience flashbacks to those incredibly packed-with-people days of January.
After researching, I cannot provide an accurately-cited number of attendees at the 2012 March. Why? My guess is that there was not enough media coverage, and there were such large numbers it is difficult to get an official count. I have heard rumors of up to 500,000, but 400,000 is what I am finding on various sources. Is that not a significant enough chunk of people to merit some kind of coverage from the mainstream media other than blogs and pro-life online news sites?
Last week a few of my fellow interns and I stopped in Union Station to grab a bite to eat and to catch the Metro. I laughed at myself when I pictured the hundreds, if not thousands of March for Lifers who swarmed the place last January. I recall walking inside the building to warm up after I had finished the March, and it was difficult to navigate because of the volumes pro-lifers present. Many were standing in long lines to purchase food, too many were eating or taking a rest on the floor because there were not enough seats to hold everyone, and the lines for restrooms were up to half-an-hour long.
Wouldn’t that be a fun article to write? “Thousands of hungry anti-abortionists invade Union Station and Metro platforms all over the city” could be a (lengthy) headline. As a current daily Metro rider, I chuckle at the thought of trying to get to work with pro-life protestors in the way. So another headline, “Anti-choice protestors, inexperienced with public transit, annoy native Metro riders” may even suffice. However, most journalists seem to miss even that opportunity to negatively document the protest
A good friend of mine, also an intern, recalled seeing in one of the Capitol buildings a large tribute to the Civil Rights movement. The March on Washington in 1963 was demonstrated by somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 civil rights activists. She remembers seeing pictures and descriptions of this day on this particular display. And this should be celebrated! What an amazing feat to gather such large numbers of people to show the world they deserve equal rights.
As mentioned above, the March for Life now features roughly 400,000 pro-life activists, and the numbers have been growing since the first March, which will be 40 years ago this coming January. The unborn cannot march for themselves, so we do it for them. And they deserve media coverage. There are numerous wonderful pro-life organizations, but do we need to form a “Journalists for Life” or a “Media for Life” in order to provide coverage of this incredibly well-attended yearly protest to show the world how many people care for this cause? I want it to be shown in places where people do not have to Google it or stumble upon Facebook statuses about it. Coverage needs to be in the nightly news and on the front pages of newspapers so that one does not have a choice but to see the impact this pro-life generation will have on the future of abortion.
Note: This article was partly inspired by one of my favorite Bad Catholic blog posts. It may upstage mine but it is too well-done not to share. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/01/media-stupidity-at-the-march-for-life.html