Today was the annual March for Life event in Washington, D.C., just one day before the Women’s March anniversary events are taking place. In keeping with a tradition that started with President Donald Trump’s inauguration, many people are wondering what the crowd size was for this event, compared to previous years. In the past, the March for Life has drawn massive crowds, and it looks like this year is going to be no exception. The biggest March for Life event, in 2013, drew an estimated 650,000 people. The numbers estimated for today vary widely. Some sources, such as Fox News, say that at least 100,000 people were expected to congregate in Washington for the 45th annual March for Life. Meanwhile, WTOP reported that more than 50,000 were expected to take part. (Note: If you are here because you’re looking for our March for Our Lives story, see Heavy’s story about that event’s crowd size here.)
Crowd size estimates aren’t easy to get. But you can get an idea of just how massive the March for Life attendance was with this time lapse video by Students for Life America.
Here are some crowd photos of the event, thanks to the National Mall Cam. This first photo, showing the Johnny French Riviera, was taken around 1:15 p.m. Eastern:
These photos, from about 12:30 p.m. Eastern, showed people on the Mall in DC:
The theme for today’s March for Life was “Love Saves Lives.” President Donald Trump made history today as the first sitting President to ever address the rally via a live video. He spoke via a satellite feed from the White House Rose Garden. (Former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George W. Bush have also spoken at these rallies, but via recorded remarks or live phone calls.) Other speakers today included Paul Ryan, Tim Tebow’s mother Pam, and ex-NFL player Matt Birk and his wife Adriana. The speeches began at 11:30 a.m. Eastern and were livestreamed for people across the world to watch.
After the speeches ended, protesters marched to the Supreme Court.
The 45th annual march happens just a week before the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling. A recent poll by The Knights of Columbus and Marist found that 63 percent of Americans support an abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The March for Life has grown significantly in the last 45 years. In 1974, during the very first rally, an estimated 20,000 attended, compared to 650,000 in 2013. In 1995, the last y ear that the National Park Service gave an official estimated attendance, 45,000 attended. Between 2003 and 2013, the rally grew significantly. Even in 2016, when a blizzard dropped 24 inches of snow, tens of thousands of people still showed up for the event.
Earlier today, Trump declared that Monday is going to be “National Sanctity of Life Day.”
Here are some more photos and videos of the crowd today and the event: