WASHINGTON — Although the Women's March in Washington was supposed to be open to women of all stripes, the march was a frightening experience for the women marching with the national pro-life group Students for Life of America and it was clear that their point of view was not welcome.
The Students for Life, the nation's largest campus organization that speaks out against abortion, originally wanted to be a co-sponsor of the march but was rejected and told that Planned Parenthood and other major pro-abortion groups were key sponsors.
But that didn't stop dozens of college students affiliated with the organization from going to the nation's capital to speak for the unborn. Students for Life participants branched out into a number of different groups and spread out around the city and march route to display their signs and chant for life.
In fact, one Students for Life group jumped out ahead of the front of the march and spanned three large banners across Constitution Avenue. Two banners read in bold: "ABORTION BETRAYS WOMEN." The other banner stated: "WE DON'T NEED PLANNED PARENTHOOD." The group was booed at one point as they walked down the street then later greeted with chants of "My body, my choice!"
Afterwards, the group stopped on the side of the road to display the banners and chant as participants marched by. A number of march participants did not take too kindly to their message and one woman even spat in the face of a Students for Life Great Lakes Regional Coordinator Anna Allgaier.
"I was on the bullhorn and our group was chanting that abortion betrays women and that abortion is violence and we are anti-violence. One woman, who is in the march, broke through the chain of volunteers who were kind of protecting us from them and started yelling in my face," Allgaier told The Christian Post. "After I told her, I was a woman and this was a women's march and I felt like we could be here, she spit in my face and it got all over my face and all over my jacket."
Reagan Barklage, the Students for Life western regional director, shared video online showing a few participants in the march tearing up a bunch of the smaller Students of Life signs that read: "Abortion betrays women."
"I was standing by our waggon that had our signs in it and these guys took a bunch of them and tore them up behind me," Barklage explained. "Someone beside me said that is vandalism and he said, 'It's my property.' I said, 'It's not your property.' But, they tore them up anyway and it was supposed to be a 'nonviolent march.'"
Not all of the march participants were hostile toward the pro-life group. Barklage added that a number of participants came up to them and thanked them for their courage.
As an estimated 500,000 thousand people participated in the march, a number of media outlets have reported that the march was "peaceful" and "positive." However, the march wasn't so peaceful for those professing their beliefs that abortion is the murder of a child and harms women.
"Honestly, it was just kind of a scary experience being so much in the minority," Allgaier said. "As we were just walking through the streets, people were not happy with us being there and sharing our opinion against abortion."
The incidents with the Students for Life was not the only friction had on Saturday.
As previously reported by CP, a number of different groups of street evangelists also faced opposition, were spat on and had water thrown at them for professing biblical beliefs over bullhorns.
Even before the march officially started, a Students for Life group positioned outside of the United States Supreme Court building were shouted down by a couple of local women.
"They had a bullhorn and were really trying to kill the buzz," Michele Mulholland France, a worker at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, told CP.
Although France had no problem shouting down a group of students protesting against the killing of unborn babies, she admitted that she would never get an abortion herself but believes the option should be open to women.
France refused to engage in a conversation with a pro-life feminist who came up to her and wanted to ask about whether or not pro-life women have a place in the feminist movement.
"I respect your right to be an American and I salute your intrepid desire for conversation and dialogue and I am not going to have one with you," France told Annie Celotto of Pennsylvania who works for the social media-consulting firm Alice Paul Group.
"As a pro-life feminist, like our feminist foremothers did, we need to peacefully try to attempt to build a dialogue to find some kind of middle ground, which I think she and I had because we actually agree on many issues," Celetto told CP. "I was trying to explain that to her that she and I probably agreed on 70 percent of the issues but when it came to the notion that abortion is somehow a tenant of feminism, we profoundly disagree."
When looking at the organizations that sponsored the women's march, it should really come as no surprise that the pro-life voice was suppressed from the march.
"They are going to try and turn this into the same Planned Parenthood march because they have to," Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins told CP before the start of the march. "Planned Parenthood's piggy bank is on the chopping block pretty soon."
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Q. Nomani wrote in The New York Times that there were at least 56 sponsors of the march who have ties to billionaire liberal political activist George Soros. Nomani opened her research on the march's sponsor organizations to crowd sourcing on Google Docs. She asserted that the march was really more of an anti-Trump rally, rather than a unified women's march.
In addition to shunning pro-life women, Nomani states that as a Muslim woman who cares about the radical extremist violence going on around the world and the mistreatment of women in some Muslim cultures, she was turned off by the fact that the march was also sponsored by the Center for American-Islamic Relations.
She states that the organization "has not only deflected on issues of Islamic extremism post-9/11, but opposes Muslim reforms that would allow women to be prayer leaders and pray in the front of mosques, without wearing headscarves as symbols of chastity."
"The left's fierce identity politics and its failure on Islamic extremism lost my vote this past election, and so, as the dawn's first light breaks through the darkness of the morning as I write, I make my decision: I'll lace up my pink Nikes and head to the inauguration, skipping the 'Women's March' that doesn't have a place for women like me," she wrote.