Despite the blizzard warning, thousands of pro-life activists gathered at the March for Life in Washington on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, the only presidential candidate to attend the event, pledged to continue speaking out against abortion in the face of opposition from pro-choice activists.
“The establishment media and political class don’t want us to talk about what the abortion industry is doing. You saw what happened when I talked about the horrific truth of the Planned Parenthood videos during a Republican debate,” she said at the march. “Unlike the media, you’ve watched the videos. You’ve seen an aborted baby, it’s legs kicking, it’s heart beating while the technician describes how they would keep these babies alive to harvest their organs.”
In response to the videos, a Planned Parenthood representative said a woman might choose to donate tissue for scientific purposes.
“In healthcare, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different.”
Fiorina had a message for those who protest her pro-life stance at her campaign events.
“You can scream and throw condoms at me all day long. You won’t silence me. You don’t scare me,” she said at the march. “I have battled breast cancer. I have buried a child. I have read the Bible. I know the value of life.”
Fiorina pointed out that President Obama’s successor will have the “awesome responsibility” to pick up to three Supreme Court justices who will weigh in on religious liberty issues. She added that the next president is going to decide if a life is a life only after it leaves the hospital.
“That is the Democratic platform – that a life is not a life until it is born, and they call us extreme. It is the Democrats and the pro-abortion industry that are extreme,” she said.
Fiorina told the audience Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and “the left” use women as a “political weapon” to win elections.
“I know, having started out as a secretary, being empowered means having a voice, but ideological feminism now shuts down conversation on colleges campuses and in the media,” she said.
She vowed to defeat Clinton and defund Planned Parenthood as president.
“You can count on what I will do as president,” she said. “Together we will restore the character of our nation.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said Planned Parenthood has shown a “lack of compassion” for women and their babies.
“Thank you for reminding those in Washington that we are a nation that will stand up together and say we can and we must do better,” she said. “The theme of this year’s march is pro-life and pro-women go hand-in-hand, and it is such an important message.”
Ernst, a veteran, said she rejects the notion that pro-life women are waging a war on women.
“I will remind them I am a woman and I have been to war. And let me be clear: this is no war on women. Rather, to me, being pro-life means you have a deep respect for the miracle of life and a women’s unique ability to bring life into this world,” she said.
Activists told PJ Media why they attended the rally despite the blizzard.
“I came with my students from school to show them what this is all about because I believe abortion is wrong – it’s as simple as that,” a woman said.
One attendee said the Planned Parenthood videos played a major part in her decision to participate in the march. Another called the march the most important pro-life event of the year.
“I have a lot of women in my life, friends who have had abortions and have suffered a lot, and I just want to show solidarity with them,” she said.
A D.C. resident said he was pleased with the large turnout during a snowstorm.
“I think it’s the right thing to do. I know it’s not popular in culture and at my workplace, but it does not mean I am wrong,” he said.
Each activist who spoke on the record said they have not decided which candidate to vote for in the 2016 election.