Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
Anti-abortion and pro-choice demonstrators arguing in front of the Supreme Court during the 2011 March for Life.
As the National Mall is cleaned up following Monday’s presidential inauguration, a record number of pro-life demonstrators are expected at Friday's 40th annual March for Life.
With attendance at last year's event estimated at 400,000, organizers expect an even larger number for the 40th anniversary march.
“We're expecting a big crowd,” said Jeanne Monahan of March for Life. “We've seen lots of markers that would show that. Our hotel block sold out a month in advance of what it's ever sold out, and we've had more media requests than ever before, so we expect really record-breaking crowds.”
Monahan is helping plan the latest rally protesting Roe v. Wade, the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the first trimester.
“This is a time to think about the 55 million Americans who have died in the last four decades as a result of legal abortion in the United States,” Monahan said. “So it's a somber moment.”
The fierce national abortion debate played out Tuesday in front of the Supreme Court, where a small group of pro-choice demonstrators gathered. One man shouted back in defiance, saying without the right to life, you have no rights.
Friday's March for Life rally will begin before noon on the Mall and then move along Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court.
The U.S. National Park Service is helping shift from the inauguration to the anti-abortion march.
A new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll finds that 70 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. A record 54 percent said abortion should be legal at least most of the time.