Anti-abortion and abortion rights activists protest during the 50th annual March for Life rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. Anti-abortion activists attended the annual march to mark the first to occur in a “post-Roe nation” since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health ruling which overturned 50 years of federal protections for abortion healthcare. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Tyler Arnold
Catholic News Agency

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 2023 March for Life, which saw tens of thousands of pro-life activists march to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, only faced a handful of disruptions from a very small number of pro-abortion counterprotesters.

Although some had speculated that the pro-abortion presence might be larger this year because it was the first march since the overturning of Roe V. Wade, only about a dozen pro-abortion protesters stood in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and only a few others were scattered within the march and on the outskirts of the march.

Despite the low turnout, some of the counterprotesters did manage to cause disruptions and a few had verbal clashes with pro-life activists. Pro-abortion activists briefly interrupted two pre-march events: a prayer service organized by Priests for Life at DAR Constitution Hall and a moment of silence in front of the Washington, D.C., Planned Parenthood clinic.

During the prayer service, a handful of pro-abortion protesters stood up and interrupted while the group was trying to pray. One man shouted “abortion is forever; protect trans lives” and “my body; my choice” before walking out of the event. Another man yelled “this community supports abortion access” before being escorted out of the event.

Another man interrupted a moment of silence held in front of Planned Parenthood by repeatedly chanting “thank God for abortion” into a megaphone. The same man yelled at groups of protesters through a megaphone as they were walking toward the march, accusing pro-life activists of being fascists. A woman with him chanted “keep your religion off my vagina” while the man danced in a crosswalk and yelled at other activists. The woman later blasphemed Christ repeatedly.

When activists gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, some protesters used megaphones to amplify siren sounds in an apparent attempt to disrupt conversations and speeches. One woman who held a sign that said “America is not a Christian nation” shouted profanities at pro-life activists before chanting “thank God for abortion.”

In a few instances, pro-life activists and pro-abortion counterprotesters tried to cover up each other’s signs with their own. In one case, this led to minor shoving, but Catholic News Agency did not witness any fights break out.

The Metropolitan Police Department told Catholic News Agency that there were no arrests made in connection to the March for Life.