Abortion opponents marched to the Supreme Court in chilly, soggy conditions Monday to mark the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
The March for Life has been held every year since 1974, a year after the landmark Supreme Court ruling. It's consistently one of the largest protests of the year in Washington, although weather likely kept this year's numbers down a bit.
House Speaker John Boehner told thousands of people gathered on the muddy National Mall Monday afternoon that he's one of 12 children. He said his anti-abortion views aren't political; they're part of his identity.
Participants carried signs reading "I Vote Pro-Life First," "Defund Planned Parenthood" and "Face It ... Abortion Kills a Person."
March for Life has been deemed the largest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration for the unborn.
Among those expected to participate in the march were hundreds of Catholic University students. University president John Garvey said, “The passage of time since the adoption of Roe v. Wade has not dulled people’s sensitivity to this moral calamity. On the contrary, especially among young people, it has emerged as the preeminent human rights issue of our time.”
D.C.'s Department of Transportation released the list of Monday road closures for the event.
"Beginning at approximately 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, the following streets will be closed:
Maryland Avenue, NE from Constitution Avenue to First Street, NE
First Street, NE from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SE
3rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
4th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
7th Street, SW from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue SW
Beginning at approximately 11:30 am, the following streets will be closed due to the participants at the Verizon Center Prayer Session marching to the National Mall and will reopen at approximately 12:30 pm:
F Street, NW from 7th Street to 12th Street, NW
12th Street, NW from F Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
The following street closures will begin at approximately 12:30 pm for the march from the National Mall to the US Supreme Court:
Constitution Avenue, NW from 3rd Street to 9th Street, NW
Constitution Avenue from 3rd Street to First Street, NE
3rd Street, NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (no traffic east on Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW)
Motorists will find the above listed roads closed until the last of the march participants have passed the intersections. In addition, roads that lead directly to the march route will be closed to thru traffic."
The National Prayer Vigil for Life was held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The vigil, which lasted through the night and into Monday morning, typically draws about 20,000 people and is organized by the Basilica, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic University.
The March for Life rally began at noon Monday on the National Mall near the Smithsonian Castle. The actual march began about 1:30 p.m., following its traditional route up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court building.