QUICK LINKS:

Thousands brave cold for annual abortion protest

Created: 01/22/2014 6:00 PM WHEC.com

On a cold day in Washington with wind chills in the single digits, thousands of abortion opponents have rallied and marched on Capitol Hill to protest legalized abortion.

Participants in the annual "March for Life" got a message of support from Pope Francis, and a tweeted prayer: "May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable."

They also got a promise from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to "continue to fight for the unborn because it is the right and moral thing to do." The Virginia Republican told the crowd that Republican leaders will hold a vote to end taxpayer funding for any abortions.

On the other side of the argument, President Barack Obama issued a statement saying the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade 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."

The march began on the National Mall with a rally. Then protesters marched along Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court, where abortion-rights supporters also gathered.