Abortion opponents have braved bitter cold weather to march in Washington to protest legalized abortion in the United States.
Tens of thousands gathered Wednesday on the National Mall for the annual "March for Life,'' held on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 'Roe v. Wade' decision that made abortion a constitutional right for women.
Participants included many Roman Catholic high school and college students from across the country. Prayer vigils led up to a rally and a march to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court.
Pope Francis sent his support for Wednesday's anti-abortion march in a message on the social media site Twitter. He tweeted for God's help for people to respect all life, "especially the most vulnerable."
U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision is a chance to "recommit" to the principle that "every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.''
Abortion opponents say this year's march focuses on eliminating the stigma around adoption as an alternative to abortion for pregnant women in difficult circumstances.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the large crowd ahead of the march that Republican leaders in Congress will hold a vote to end taxpayer funding for abortions.
Cantor said he would continue to fight for the unborn because he feels it is the moral thing to do.