(1st Add: Includes details about GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul's speech at the rally.)
Washington (CNSNews.com) - Cold weather did not keep tens of thousands of pro-life activists from putting their opposition to abortion on display Tuesday.
They gathered here to mark the 35th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand.
This year's March for Life started at the Washington Mall in front of the White House at noon, with participants of all ages and from around the globe.
Activists included many women who now regret having had abortions and who are outspoken in their commitment to help other women facing post-abortion consequences.
"I'm here to share my abortion testimony," Susan Rebis told Cybercast News Service . Rebis is part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a Christian organization that works to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women and men.
The group's Web site says the campaign seeks "to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion."
"I'm sharing my testimony about the various symptoms I experienced right after my abortion -- and even 20 years after my abortion," Rebis said. Rebis credits Jesus Christ with helping her heal and helping her keep her commitment to help other women who have undergone abortions. See video
Just prior to the start of the march, Rebis shared the stage with men who held signs expressing regret for abortions that denied them fatherhood.
March for Life organizers met with President Bush before the event, and his remarks were broadcast to the crowd. Bush commended the pro-life marchers for their efforts to end abortion.
"Thirty-five years ago today, the United States Supreme Court declared and decided that under the law an unborn child is not considered a person," Bush said. "But we know many things about the unborn. Biology confirms that, from the start, each unborn child is a separate individual with his or her own genetic code."
"Babies can now survive outside the mother's womb at younger and younger ages," the president said. "And the fingers and toes and beating hearts that we can see on an unborn child's ultrasound come with something that we cannot see: a soul."
The march concluded at the U.S. Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill with more speeches and an enthusiastic hope expressed by organizers that the 36th annual March for Life will celebrate a Supreme Court overturn of the Roe v. Wade decision.
Pro-life activists outnumbered those on the other side of the issue.
Abortion rights supporters held their own rally in support of Roe v. Wade after the March for Life was over. While there was some shouting back and forth between the two factions, police said there was no violence and there were no arrests.
When GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul addressed the crowd at Tuesday?s March for Life, he evoked the name of perhaps the most famous abortion advocate turned pro-life activist. Norma Leah McCorvey was Jane Roe in the Roe v. Wade case. Although by the time the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case in 1973 McCorvey had given birth to a daughter, she worked at abortion clinics until her conversion to Christianity in 1995. Now McCorvey runs Crossing Over Minstry, a nonprofit organization working to end abortion.
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