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Thousands Protest at Annual 'March for Life' in Washington


Pro Life supporters gather at the Washington Monument to hear Vice President Mike Pence speak at the March for Life rally on Jan. 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP PHOTO / Tasos Katopodis)


Thousands of people came to Washington to attend the March for Life demonstration on Friday.

The yearly gathering protests abortion. An abortion is a medical operation that ends a pregnancy and results in the death of the fetus.

The march took place almost one week after about 500,000 people marched in Washington the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Many of those demonstrators called for the protection of reproduction rights.

Friday, activists opposed to abortion gathered near the Washington Monument to hear speeches from Vice President Mike Pence and other politicians.

(L-R) U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence and their daughter Charlotte Pence arrive for a rally on the National Mall before the start of the 43rd annual March for Life January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(L-R) U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence and their daughter Charlotte Pence arrive for a rally on the National Mall before the start of the 43rd annual March for Life January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Pence told the crowd that “life is winning again in America.” Pence is a longtime opponent of abortion.

“Along with you, we will not grow weary, we will not rest until we restore a culture of life in America for ourselves and our posterity," Pence said.

Demonstrators oppose abortion decision

Demonstrators have come together for 43 years to protest the Supreme Court decision known as Roe versus Wade. That decision, in 1973, made abortion legal in the United States.

Fern Parent came from Greenwood Lake, New York to attend the march on a windy day. She said that she came this year to support the rights of the unborn children.

“There’s a large group of people in this country that believe that every individual has rights, including people who can’t speak for themselves.”

The demonstrators welcomed a recent action by President Trump.

In one of his first acts, Trump signed an executive order. It prevents U.S. funding from going to any foreign organizations that support abortion. It is known as the “Mexico City policy.”

Trump does not have a consistent record on the issue of abortion.

In 1999, he said he was “very pro-choice.” He later changed his position. Trump created controversy during the presidential campaign in 2016 by saying that women seeking abortions should face “some sort of punishment.”

On Friday, Trump tweeted his support for the marchers: “The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!”

Abortion an issue for a future Supreme Court Justice

Currently, the Supreme Court has eight justices instead of nine. The president has said he will nominate a justice who opposes abortion.

Trump is expected to announce his choice to fill the high court’s vacancy next week.

Anti-abortion activists march past the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, during the annual March for Life.

Anti-abortion activists march past the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, during the annual March for Life.

​Rob Van Rite from Maryland is hopeful that this year’s march will help influence the president to nominate a justice that supports the anti-abortion or pro-life cause.

“The president has the unique opportunity to appoint a member to the Supreme Court. The battle for pro-life has been waged …and has gone back and forth. And those nine wise souls are now eight, and their needs to be some balance restored.”

Rite also said that he believed the goal of the march was to have everyone value and share respect for life.

In his words, they "want to return to a view where life trumps death."

The word “trump” means to be more important than something else. It is also the last name of the U.S. president.

I’m Anne Ball.

This story was originally written for VOANews.com by Katherine Gypson. Phil Dierking adapted this story for Learning English using other media. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

abortion – n. a medical operation that ends a pregnancy and results in the death of the fetus.

fetus – n. a human being before it is born

reproduction – n. the process by which plants and animals give rise to offspring

posterity – n. people in the future

consistent – adj. always acting or behaving in the same way

controversy – n. argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something

vacancy – n. a job or position that is available to be taken

wage – v. to start or continue a war or battle, etc. to get something or achieve something

soul – n. the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever

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