Competing Groups Rally to Note Anniversary of Abortion Ruling

From Times Wire Services

Pro-life and pro-choice activists held rallies nationwide Sunday marking the 16th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roe vs. Wade, that legalized abortion.

In Los Angeles, about 500 women attending a Feminist Super Bowl Rally for Choice vowed to continue supporting a woman’s right to abortion.

“Of course we will do everything within our power to prevent Roe vs. Wade from being overturned. But if it is, we will be prepared to assist women to deal with the terrible crisis that (the decision) will create in their lives,” feminist attorney Gloria Allred said.

500 Attend Rally


Allred was among 500 women who attended the rally at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Area that coincided with football’s main event and the anniversary of the Supreme Court abortion ruling.

More than 500 opponents of abortion marched through Burlington, Vt., stopping at clinics and hospitals where abortions are performed. At the offices of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the marchers were met by 40 pro-choice demonstrators. The two sides faced each other across the street but maintained their distance.

“Right-to-life is not a political issue,” said Bishop John Marshall, the leader of Vermont’s Catholics. “It is a religious and moral issue already decided by God.”

Cardinal Leads Session

More than 500 people crowded Boston’s Faneuil Hall to hear Cardinal Bernard Law lead a rally against abortion. Mayor Raymond L. Flynn read a proclamation declaring Sunday “Respect for Life Day” in Boston.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life President Ruth Pakaluk expressed optimism that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned by the Supreme Court, which now has a more conservative majority. The court has agreed to review a Missouri law that declares life begins at conception.

Outside Faneuil Hall, a small group of pro-choice protesters chanting and carrying signs were led by longtime pro-abortion activist Bill Baird. “I warn you now we are in danger of losing the abortion law,” Baird said.

Thousands of people were expected in Washington today for a protest organized by March for Life. Leonard Dinegar of the National Right to Life Committee said organizers hope to match last year’s turnout, when police estimated that 50,000 people marched.

President Bush is scheduled to speak via telephone to protesters attending the rally.