While the march brought out many veterans of the movement, it also attracted some newcomers.
Holli Shelton said she had an abortion when she was 18 in her home state of Arkansas. On Friday morning, she joined the March for Life for the first time, carrying a sign that said “I regret my abortion.”
Nearly three decades after her abortion, Ms. Shelton, a therapist, traveled to Washington with her college-aged daughter.
“This is a new thing for me,” Ms. Shelton said, gesturing to her sign. “I think today is a start for my healing.”
At other events across the city, anti-abortion activists socialized and made new connections.
At a panel discussion hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture the night before the march, panelists exulted in the Dobbs victory — one compared it to the Cubs winning the World Series — but acknowledged there was work to be done on “building a civilization of love.”
Herb Geraghty, 26, used the march as the time to help re-launch the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians as the Rainbow Pro-Life Alliance, partly in acknowledgment of shifting language around gender and sexuality.
“If we’re not welcomed by the mainstream movement, then we’ll make our own space,” said Mr. Geraghty, who is the executive director of Rehumanize International. Given the rising Gen-Z presence in the anti-abortion movement, he added, “I’m an optimist.”
Rehumanize International — which opposes abortion and the death penalty — is hosting a karaoke fund-raiser as an after-party to the march at a bar on Friday night. (There will be vegan food options, and the invitation notes that the venue has gender-neutral bathrooms.)