In the days leading up to the 44th annual March for Life, pro-life Americans labored under very few delusions that the mainstream media would give their event even a percentage of the coverage received by the post-Inaugural Women’s March on Washington that took place one week earlier.
And while the addition of Vice President Mike Pence and Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway to the list of speakers certainly made it more difficult for media outlets to simply ignore the march completely, a number of those outlets made it clear how unhappy they were about addressing the topic through their headlines…
Many made sure to include the polarizing buzzwords like “anti-abortion” or “abortion opponents” prominently:
- NPR: Anti-Abortion Rights, But Not Necessarily Pro-Trump At March For Life
- Al-Jazeera: Anti-abortion activists ‘march for life’ in Washington
- Chicago Tribune: March for Life: Pence speaks as abortion opponents rally in shadow of Washington monument
- NBC: DC’s March for Life Highlights Gains by Abortion Opponents
- Time: Watch Anti-Abortion Activists Take Part in the March for Life
- The Hill: Anti-abortion protesters take to DC for March for Life
Others tried to put the focus on divisions within the pro-life movement — or between pro-life marchers and President Trump:
- The Atlantic: Will the Pro-Life Movement Split With Trump on Issues Other Than Abortion?
- The Huffington Post: Women At March For Life Are Deeply Conflicted About Donald Trump
- Yahoo! News: At March for Life, varying views on what ‘pro-life’ means
Going into Friday’s march, the media had already made a strong statement. Televised coverage of 2016’s 43rd annual March for Life boiled down to 35 seconds on ABC — 22 seconds of which were devoted to a teen group that had attended the march and then gotten caught in a blizzard when they returned home.
In comparison, last week’s Women’s March on Washington racked up over an hour and 15 minutes on ABC, CBS, and NBC combined.
Nationally syndicated radio host Dana Loesch spoke with Independent Journal Review about the contrast:
“The divisive media predictably gave more coverage to women who littered and marched with vagina hats than they did the women (and men!) who marched for life and integrity.
The media also ignored the exclusion of pro-life women from the Women’s March and that the Women’s March organizer tweeted that a survivor of female genital mutilation should have her ‘vagina taken away.’ That march was a sham.”
Despite the lack of objective coverage, many outlets reported that the mood at this year’s March for Life was upbeat. Cosmopolitan highlighted the comments of Jeanne Mancini, the March for Life President since 2012, who said that “to be pro-woman is to be pro-life”:
“We know that a message many people hear in our country is that in order to be ‘pro-woman,’ you have to be pro-choice. I would offer that nothing could be further from the truth. I see that as rhetoric and I see that as false.
Life is empowering for women. A woman’s capacity to have children is an incredible thing, not something to be ashamed of. It doesn’t mean that I am defined by that, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend it’s not part of me. It’s an incredible gift.”
And Catholic Association Senior Fellow Ashley McGuire noted the reason she believes that so many were optimistic: “This is the first time I’ll be at the march when there’s a real opportunity to enact pro-life policies.”