Demonstrators Mark Roe v. Wade
ST. PAUL, MN-January 23, 2006 -- Anti-abortion activists and Roe v. Wade proponents are in the nation's capital today for a march to Congress and the Supreme Court.
On the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Katie Whitte braved below-freezing temperatures outside Minnesota's Capitol to march for the first time against abortion.
"This year is special for me because I am a mother out of wedlock," said Whitte, 20, whose daughter is 5 months old. "I wanted to get the message out that life is important. It doesn't matter what your circumstances are."
Whitte was among thousands of abortion opponents who rallied across the nation over the weekend, many of whom said they were heartened by President Bush's choice of Samuel Alito to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate who was often the court's swing vote.
In Washington, abortion rights advocates held a candlelight vigil in front of the Supreme Court Sunday night, waving signs that read: "Alito-No Justice For Women," and "Keep Abortion Legal."
Anti-abortion activists also were to converge in Washington, where they planned to march to Congress and the Supreme Court on Monday.
The nation's high court made abortion legal on Jan. 22, 1973. Thirty-four states have since passed laws requiring parents either to be notified or to give consent when their underage daughters seek abortions.
In San Francisco, thousands of abortion opponents shouldering signs with slogans such as "Peace Begins in the Womb" marched Saturday, while abortion rights supporters along the march route waved clothes hangers and shouted "Bigots go home."
"Abortion rights have been slowly whittled away while we haven't even been looking," said Kitty Striker, 22, who decorated her hair with small coat hanger replicas for the counter-protest. "That's what's so shocking and so scary to me."
In Idaho, nearly 400 abortion protesters marched Saturday at the Statehouse, including Reid Richardson and his 5-year-old stepdaughter, Allie Zebley, who carried sign with her ultrasound photo and the words, "This is me at 16 weeks."
About half that number gathered Sunday outside the Idaho Capitol in support of abortion rights.
In Michigan, a group of ministry leaders launched a new anti-abortion organization, Michigan Chooses Life. The group wants to change the state constitution to legally define a person as existing at the moment of conception. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has said such a measure would be challenged in court.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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