March Theme: 'Pro-Life & Pro-Woman Go Hand-in-Hand'
WASHINGTON -- Each year, organizers of the annual the March for Life try to increase interest in their fight against abortion. Next year, they hope to take advantage of the presidential election that's likely to pit a female pro-choice champion against a pro-lifer.
Most political observers agree Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat's likely presidential nominee. If so, the public can expect speeches and ads about how pro-life Republicans wage a war on women when they try to limit abortions.
In an attempt to take on that rhetoric, march organizers and their allies announced Wednesday that the theme of 2016's March for Life is "Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand in Hand."
At the March for Life theme event, former school teacher Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., broke down in tears as she shared memories involving teens and abortion. Watch below:
Jeanne Mancini heads up the March for Life Education and Defense Fund.
"We keep hearing in the media and throughout the different debates and especially with the upcoming election that for somebody to be pro-woman, they must be pro-abortion or pro-choice. We say that the opposite is the case -- that no woman in her right mind should ever be forced into a corner like that to want to make a choice like abortion," she told CBN News.
Several pro-life leaders at the Capitol Hill event expressed outrage that abortion supporters were able to hijack the feminist cause.
Helen Alvare founded the group Women Speak for Themselves.
"For some crazy reason, supporters of legal abortion were able to make their cause synonymous with women, and it's just the height of irony when you think that what they did essentially was treat women as victims, did nothing to empower them and basically affirm a male model of sexuality: sex, no baby," she said.
Serrin Foster is president of Feminists for Life.
She said of this tendency to equate feminism with abortion rights, "I find it sad. Peace begins in the womb and we believe in peaceful coexistence between mothers and children. Women deserve better than abortion and every child deserves their right to life."
Mancini added, "A woman's capacity for motherhood is a tremendous gift, and we want to celebrate that. We know that being pro-woman really actually means being pro-life. Pro-life is pro-woman. It's pro-child and it's pro-woman."
The 41st March for Life will be January 22, marking the day in 1974 when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion throughout America. That year the March for Life began as a small protest against the Supreme Court ruling. Now it's the largest annual pro-life event in the world.