by Ben Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2012 (www.LifeSiteNews.com) - The first-ever official March for Life Youth Rally launched with 1,200 attendees last night, featuring many of the most familiar names and faces in the pro-life movement, including March for Life founder Nellie Gray.
Early in the program around 15-20 pro-abortion protestors situated in threes throughout the auditorium stood and began shouting pro-abortion chants, drowning out the speaker at the mic.
Amidst chants of “occupy anti-choice” and “pro-life, that’s a lie, you don’t care if women die,” organizers instructed the youth not to react but to pray as security was called. A couple of angry young men shouted repeatedly “as long as you harass women you will be harassed.”
As the shouting continued and security was delayed, organizers chose to begin the first set of music. The cheers of the massive crowd at the suggestion drowned out the protestors, who were unheard from that point until they were escorted out by security.
Several of the pro-life teens in the room were visibly upset by the disruption.
Speaker after speaker referenced the disruption, calling the pro-life youth to love and pray for the protestors and their conversion. Organizer Jim Nolan told LifeSiteNews that the incident was “a good start to go forward.” He observed that there were well over 1,000 pro-life young people in attendance and only 20 protestors. “That’s what it is in the culture and the movements, they are positive signs,” he said. “Get used to it, this country is pro-life.”
In his presentation Rev. Pat Mahoney noted the gross misrepresentation of the pro-life movement painted by abortion advocates. “If what they say of us was true,” said Rev. Mahoney, the protestors would not have been treated with the love and reserve shown by those present in the auditorium.
Organized by Bryan Kemper of Stand True/Priests for Life Youth and Jim Nolan of Crossroads, the evening featured Live Action’s Lila Rose, Whole Life’s Jason Jones, Bound for Life’s Matt Lockett, Students for Life of America’s Kristan Hawkins, Survivors’ Kristina Garza, Human Life Alliance’s Joe Langfeld, CEC for Life’s Alan Melanson, Silent No More’s Julia Holcomb (ex-girlfriend of rock star Steven Tyler), and LifeSiteNews.com’s John-Henry Westen.