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Pro-Life Groups Launch Initiative Demanding That the Mainstream Media #CoverTheMarch

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The Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues launched its #CoverTheMarch campaign today in an effort to get the mainstream media to not only cover the upcoming March for Life but also to cover it fairly.

The March for Life, the largest pro-life event in the world, attracts thousands of pro-lifers to Washington, D.C., each year to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

This year’s March for Life will take place Jan. 22, the 43rd anniversary of Roe.

The coalition, comprised of pro-life groups and members of Congress, contend that mainstream media outlets refuse to grant the March for Life the coverage it deserves.

Anti-abortion activists taking part in the annual March for Life make their way to the Supreme Court Jan. 22, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The groups argue that the media have an obligation to report on matters of “public interest,” including issues such as the March for Life, “videos questioning a taxpayer-funded organization and events like a congressional vote to defund Planned Parenthood.”

They also request that the media not “dismiss” claims against the abortion industry, but rather “investigate” the claims.

“After last year’s media blackout of the March for Life, the networks owe it to their viewers to meaningfully and accurately cover Friday’s march,” Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, one of the groups in the coalition, said in a statement. “The media have covered all manner of protests in our nation’s capital no matter how large or small, but they refuse to cover hundreds of thousands of peaceful marchers advocating for the unborn. We will raise our voices on behalf of these precious children and let the media know that they must cover the march. If the media want to retain any shred of credibility, they will give the March for Life and other life issues the full and fair coverage they deserve.”

According to MRC, more than 200,000 people participated in last year’s March for Life. Of the three major broadcast networks, only CBS reported on the 2015 March for Life — and they gave it just 15 seconds of airtime in the midst of a separate report.

Pro-life activists protest in front of the White House Jan. 21, 2014. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

“While nearly every media outlet in the country sends reporters and cameras to the March for Life, the editors and news directors seem to find the fact that tens of thousands of Americans, young and old, walking to the Supreme Court in prayerful and peaceful concern for the innocent, unborn, is not deserving of front page coverage or top of the broadcast news is mystifying,” Diana Banister, the president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, a firm which assists the March for Life, said in a statement. “We welcome all the media to tell the true story of this march, that far surpasses any other event in Washington and to reflect truthfully about this movement and the wonderful people who come from the around the country to make their voices heard in the nation’s capital.”

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators attend a rally on the National Mall during the annual March of Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2014. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

“Perhaps the mainstream media stays away from the March for Life because of a perception that it is old news, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said in a statement. “Last year the Silent No More Awareness Campaign unveiled the Shockwaves initiative to bring attention to the wider circle of victims of abortion, and this year that effort will expand. Every year there is breaking news at the March for Life, and Americans who depend on the media deserve to know it.”

The coalition added that the March for Life is particularly newsworthy this year given recent the recent controversy surrounding the release of undercover videos of executives at Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, appearing to negotiate the sale of aborted fetal body parts, though they add that the media has bungled its coverage of these videos.

Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, took to Twitter to tell protestors that despite reports of upcoming inclement weather, the March for Life will go on as planned.

Follow Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) on Twitter

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