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Voices from the anti-abortion march on Washington

Sunday January 29 2017

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP 

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WASHINGTON,

Anti-abortion advocates rallied in Washington on Friday, marching through the heart of the US capital as the White House pledged its full-throated support to their efforts.

Upbeat and optimistic despite the biting cold, here are some of the voices from the 44th annual March for Life event, which bills itself as the world's largest "pro-life" rally. 

'Human lives'

Roofer Jeremiah Caskey, 29, of tiny Nancy, Kentucky, came after learning about the march from his pastor two days ago.

"I figured if I came here, maybe other people would come to show support for life. It is real human lives we're talking about."

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"This right here is probably the most important thing that I've done in my life." 

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

'A bullet'

High school student Bridget O'Keefe, 18, called abortion "a poison on our culture."

"I've heard these arguments of cases of rape, cases of poverty. Abortion doesn't do anything to solve those issues. It's just a Band-Aid on society. When these women have had a bullet to the heart, it's nothing. All it has done is it's ruining our society."

'A purpose'

Annette Vaske, a teacher at a Catholic high school in the small city of Algona, Iowa, came to Washington with a group of about 50 students and chaperones. They arrived at 7:00 am Friday after 20 hours on a bus.

"I lost a mom pretty early and it just makes you more aware of pro-life at both ends, not just the unborn but the elderly as well... Everybody has a purpose, even if you are stuck in a wheelchair and unable to talk, there's a purpose for everything and we need to value all of that." 

Murder

Katelyn Goodwin, a 17-year-old high school student from Birmingham, Alabama, came to the rally with her church youth group. It was her second time at the march and she brought a life-sized cutout of the pope.

"I'm looking for abortion to be illegal because I believe abortion is murder." 

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

Pro-life demonstrators march towards the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

Feminist

Andrea Dorman, 35, a stay-at-home mother of three young children, was holding a sign with a picture of suffragette Susan B. Anthony and the message "Susie B. The original gangsta. Pro-life feminist."

"I am progressive, I am a feminist. And I think there are a lot of women out there who do think like me. I think there are a lot of women who think abortion is barbaric and more than that it harms women... But I also realize we have to be very progressive in teaching young kids how sex works, we have to educate them. I believe in birth control pills." 

'Infuriated'

Brenda Kresak, a 40-year-old mother of six boys, brought her family to the march from Charlotte, North Carolina.

She said she was inspired to join a march for the first time after following news coverage of the previous week's Women's March in Washington, which drew hundreds of thousands opposing Trump's attacks on a progressive agenda, including access to abortion services.

"We're 44 years a silent march... I think you're going to see a lot more people here, a lot of women like me that are infuriated by the so-called Women's March when it wasn't a women's march. We're all here because we're going to stand and make our stand for a cause — not 'I'm so mad that my candidate didn't win' — but for our cause for life."

'So happy'

Peter Fagan, a 27-year-old seminary student from the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, marching for the first time.

"I came to stand up for the unborn and to, like the vice president said, show our voice in support of a culture of life in the United States. I'm so happy, it's awesome. I feel like the White House is supporting our efforts. It feels like something is happening, like the government is open to life, to supporting life in the United States."

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