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Into the Belly of the Beast -- The Men's March

Edward Boches | Massachusetts, United States

Organization: Boches Photography

A man holds rosaries during a rally outside of Planned Parenthood in Boston.

No issue divides America like abortion. Since a partisan Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade, this basic right is now being denied women in many states across the country and has further energized the pro-life movement. This series covers the pro-life Men's March and the 40 Days for Life vigil, both of which took place in October, 2022. They are a reminder that the religious right is more determnined than ever to continue the battle. The images here are part of an ongoing project covering abortion rights and the movement to make abortion legal across the United States.

“We’re going into the belly of the beast,” claimed one pro-life marcher, knowing that Boston remains among the most pro-choice cities in the country.

This year’s Men’s March, organized by the Catholic radio host Jim Havens, brought 200 mostly white men to one of the country’s most liberal cities to spread their message that life begins at conception and that the Constitution must protect all “persons.” The event overlapped with the 40 Days for Life vigils, which run every spring and fall and were still being held outside the Boston Planned Parenthood where the Men’s March began.

According to the National Catholic Register, The Men’s March is based on the idea that men have a role to play in the pro-life movement by acknowledging hat many women who contemplate abortion have been driven to it by the actions or inactions of men. Some of that was apparent in the many speeches delivered on the sidewalks outside of Planned Parenthood. Local leaders of the group spoke about the responsibilities they shirked, admitted their own sins, and called on all men to take action in the fight to end abortion.

Holding rosaries and crosses the men listened and prayed. And then took to the streets in a parade that was flanked front and back by Boston Police on both motorcycles and bicycles.

While the speakers’ words expressed how much they cared about life, the unborn, and the women who might bear them, to this observer, the tone of their voices seemed more fueled by rage and anger than by love. In fact one pro-lifer admitted openly that his primary goal was to make sure the birth rate in America did not fall behind that of Muslim nations or “there would be more of them and less of us.”

I’ll let viewers decide for themselves what they see in the faces and expressions of those who assembled and marched.

Local news reports, particularly in the Boston Globe, neglected to mention the level of police support, something this photographer has never seen at any of the pro-choice rallies. The Globe also chose to emphasize the small group of counter protestors who were not seen for the first three hours of the rally, but did show up at the State House, where the parade ended.

 

While the majority of America remains pro-choice, evident in the most recent elections where voters chose to protect abortion rights in the five stated that had the question on the ballot, the pro-life movement is organized, energized and determined to ban abortion nationwide. One can see it in the continued growth of the 40 Days vigils and the well-organized grassroots efforts that have changed the judiciary and the Supreme Court.

I have been photographing pro-choice rallies as well as 40 Days vigils since the Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade. This series will become part of that ongoing project.

bochesphotography@gmail.com

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