Pro-abortion march attracts fraction of expected marchers, no agreement on numbers

Only 100,000 to 250,000 people turned out for the pro-abortion march last Sunday in Washingtion D.C.  This is a fraction of the predicted one million marchers the organizers had hoped for.

There was no official crowd count, but the Washingtion Police estimated that about 250,000 people were present.

The reported estimates varied according to the sources, with the New York Times estimating some “tens of thousands protesters,” and the Associated Press, who´s pre-march estimate was 750,000, reporting that "tens of thousands of women” were among the no more than 200,000 marchers.

Other media outlets estimated numbers which were far in excess of the police estimate. Reuters reported "hundreds of thousands of protesters" descended on the capital and United Press claimed that 500,000 women attended the march.

These numbers seem only modest exaggerations when compared with the claim by the organizers who, following the march, issued a press release claiming that 1,150,000 people showed up to voice their support of reproductive rights.

Pro-life groups, in addition, say that the numbers estimated mistakenly include the thousands of pro-life protesters who showed up as well.

The presence of the pro-life protesters was considered significant enough for the police to set up barricades to keep the marchers on both sides of the issue separated.  The two sides shouted at each other as the marchers passed by.

The march was also used as a platform for expressing anti-Bush sentiment, with many carrying signs such as "Abort Bush" and  "Run Bush Run — The Feminists are Coming."

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaking at a pre-march breakfast, combined the pro-abortion cause with the anti-Bush agenda when she said the Bush administration was filled with people "who consider Roe v. Wade the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history…All the people are here today not only to march on behalf of women's lives but to take that energy into the election in November."

Volunteers of the Kerry campaign were present handing out literature and campaign paraphernalia.

Some of the celebrities who led the march were Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Turner, Ashley Judd, Cybil Shepherd and Ted Turner, founder of CNN.

Many pro-life advocates, such as Deborah Cardamone, whose daughter, Marla, died from a legal abortion when she was 18, were also there to spread the message that abortion hurts women. "I am just here to represent her and all of the other women who didn't have a choice," she told the New York Times. "She was murdered along with my grandson."

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