Thousands of marchers braved freezing temperatures in Washington on Wednesday to demand an end to abortion in the United States, with Pope Francis tweeting his support.
The annual March for Life marks the anniversary -- in this case the 41st -- of the US Supreme Court's landmark Roe versus Wade decision that effectively legalized abortion nationwide.
"We're pro-life because we believe in the rights of unborn children," March for Life president Jeanne Monahan told the crowd on the snow-covered National Mall, with the Capitol in the distance.
On Twitter, where he has three million followers in English, Pope Francis sent from the Vatican a message of support to the protesters, including large numbers of Roman Catholics.
"I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers," said the pontiff, who last year denounced abortion as a symptom of today's "throw-away culture."
"May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable," he added.abortion ] [ francis ] [ pope ] [ pro-life ] [ vatican ] [ washington-dc ]