Why there’s no ‘official’ estimate how many people will be at March for Life

Why there’s no ‘official’ estimate how many people will be at March for Life

On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of anti-abortion protesters with the March for Life will descend on Washington, D.C., to decry the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to enshrine abortion as a “constitutional right.”

How many protesters will be there, exactly?

Don’t expect to find out.

The National Park Service used to offer official estimates of crowds on the National Mall — where the March for Life gathers each year and where other high-profile rallies, including the 1963 civil rights march and Glenn Beck’s 2010 Restoring Honor rally, have also congregated — but the agency stopped gauging crowd sizes in 1995 under threat of a lawsuit.

The man responsible: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Farrakhan’s Million Man March in October 1995 brought hundreds of thousands to Washington, butthe National Park Service’s crowd estimate pegged attendance at 400,000 — far below the touted 1 million.

Farrakhan threatened to sue the agency, and Congress soon thereafter ordered the Park Service to stop estimating crowds altogether to avoid future politicized troubles.

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