WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) - Thousands of people packed the streets of Washington, D.C. Friday morning for the 44th annual March for Life. Some members of the huge crowd were from Baton Rouge, including several students.
Massive crowds wound their way along the National Mall in Washington in support of the event. Among the group, about 2,000 people were there from Louisiana, 500 of them students from local schools.
Father Josh Johnson was there from St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. He said the march is an important opportunity for area youth. "By them participating through marching and through praying, they can be a part of a culture of life generation, so it's a huge event for these kids to be a part of," Johnson said.
The goal behind the annual demonstration is to overturn the landmark Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. The march got a strong showing of support from the White House Friday, with a tweet from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence addressing the crowd, the highest ranking official ever to speak in person at the rally.
"This administration will work with the Congress to end tax payer funding of abortion and abortion providers," Pence said.
While there for a serious purpose, Johnson said it is also important for students to have fun as they exercise their right to peacefully protest. He added the march was filled with chants, signs, and flash mobs.
"We're fighting for life and at the same time, it's fun as well as we come together with other people who are just joyful and want to see change by spreading joy," Johnson said.
While pro-choice advocates say a woman's right to choose for herself should not be left up to lawmakers, Johnson believes it is important for both sides to find common ground. "We need to come together and listen to each other so we can discern how we can move forward together," he added.
The group did more than participate in the march Friday. They left for the nation's capital on Monday and while there have visited area museums and have also taken in the sites. They plan to be back in town sometime Saturday night.