WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Thousands of anti-abortion activists came to Washington to mark the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.
The march followed its customary route, with a rally on the Mall, a march along Constitution Avenue and a concluding rally at the Supreme Court. Veterans of previous marches said this one was about as large as usual, with 250,000 people, The Washington Times reported.
The protesters recognized that, for the first time in eight years, the country has a president who supports abortion rights. But several told The Washington Post they voted for or supported Barack Obama for president even though they disagree with his pro-choice position.
Anna Alikhani, 17, a student at a Catholic school in Kensington, Md., said her class in school had been studying Obama's voting record and the Roe vs. Wade decision.
"All we can do is keep praying for the president, and hope he hears our message today," she said.
Alikhani and many other young people attended an early religious service at the Verizon Center with bishops from around the country presiding.
Former President George W. Bush annually sent a message of support to the march.
Obama, in what has become routine when Democrats take over the White House, will reverse the "gag rule" that bans federal funding of international organizations that provide information on abortions, The Wall Street Journal said. However, Obama chose not to issue the order on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the report said.