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Updated 7:13 PM  |  January 27, 2017
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March for Life heads to the Supreme Court

After the speeches were over, the crowd began to leave the Mall, then stopped for many minutes until apparently a gate opened again, letting a few people through.

While most people stood still, shivering and occasionally chanting “Roe v Wade has got to go,” the Transform DJs, who started the march program with pounding music and a blanket declaration that they’re advocating an end to all abortion without exception, showed a video.

The video featured an abortion clinic and a patient struggling away from the exam table, running out the office and down the street barefoot and sobbing.

As those images played, the energized crowd began to slowly march to the Supreme Court, where every year they demonstrate on the steps.

March president Jeanne Mancini has said the marchers are demanding a national ban on abortion after 20 weeks, a Supreme Court Justice who opposes abortion and permanent status for the Hyde amendment, which blocks federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.

Here are some photos from the day:

Amy Hofer of South Dakota stands outside the Supreme Court after participating in the March for Life.
Marchers make their way to the Supreme Court during the March for Life.
Participants in The March for Life 2017 gather around the Washington Monument. (Astrid Riecken For The Boston Globe)
Participants in The March for Life gather around the Washington Monument. (Astrid Riecken For The Boston Globe)
Jaime Brown, 22 and Molly Hurtado, 30, both from Connecticut, pose before the 44th annual March for Life rally. The women work together at a pregnancy resource center. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)
Arkansas governor signs ban on common abortion procedure

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law on Thursday a measure considered among the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country. The law, which takes effect later this year, prohibits dilation and extraction, what abortion rights advocates say is the most common method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester.

Similar laws have been adopted in Mississippi and Louisiana, according to Reuters. Similar bans in Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama have faced legal challenges and have not been implemented, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion legislation.

Abortion rights advocates have vowed to oppose the measure. “It’s simply shameful that politicians in Arkansas spent valuable time and resources on fast tracking a cruel and unconstitutional ban on a safe method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester,” said Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Hutchinson has said he believes the Supreme Court could uphold the law if it went that far. The Arkansas health department, according to Reuters reporting, has said that dilation and extraction, an abortion method used in the second trimester, was used in 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in Arkansas in 2015.

‘I am pro-life not pro-Trump’

Liz Kehrman marched on Friday holding a sign that said, “I am pro-life not pro-Trump,” because she felt the two should not in any way be linked together. She said as she watched Donald Trump win the presidency, she felt more emboldened to march — something she has done for 12 years running — considering this moment an urgent one.

“This year is different because Trump is so terrible,” she said. “He is the worst standard-bearer of this platform I have ever seen. It made it so I was so not missing this.”

She said there are so many values she keeps that shouldn’t be confined to political party. She thinks of herself as a feminist, but the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, which advocated abortion rights, make her feel unwelcome. She thinks of herself as someone who wants all people to be treated with dignity, but last year started feeling unwelcome in the Republican, too.

“Trump does not respect life in all form,” she said. “All life deserves to be treated with dignity, but he does not value women with dignity, nor the poor, nor refugees with dignity.”

Poll: Most Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood

As antiabortion activists expect President Trump to move forward on his promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a new poll out Friday suggests that 62 percent of Americans oppose cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood while 31 percent support the move.

The poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that women are more opposed to the idea of defunding Planned Parenthood than men, 69 percent to 55 percent. By party 63 percent of Republicans support defunding the organization, compared with 7 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents.

Of those who were polled, 70 percent say they agree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that determined abortion as a woman’s right, while 26 percent disagree. The Pew Research Center poll last fall found a similar number (69 percent) oppose overturning the decision.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.

March for Life president: ‘Pro-life is pro-women.’

Jeanne Mancini, president of the the March for Life, told marchers that their movement is “pro women” and that their “voice” might have been “shut out” at last week’s Women’s March on Washington.

Live coverage of the March for Life
People gather at the base of the Washington Monument Friday morning for the March for Life. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

After 43 years of doggedly demonstrating against abortion at the annual March for Life each January, thousands of abortion opponents are gathering Friday on the Mall with great reason for optimism. Just days into his presidency, Donald Trump has made abortion one of his first priorities in office.

With a likely eye toward rewarding voters who supported him based heavily on expectations that he would act on abortion, Trump has already revived an old policy banning U.S. funding for groups abroad that pay for abortions or provide information about abortion. On Tuesday, he signaled his intentions to nominate an antiabortion justice to the Supreme Court next week, and he has vowed more action to follow.

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