Nearly 4 million people marched to protest Islamic jihadism in France last weekend, with more than 40 world leaders in Paris to attend the biggest rally.

President Obama was not among them.

Closer to home, there are demonstrations coming up in Maine and Washington, D.C., that, while certain to be smaller than last weekend’s “Je Suis Charlie” displays of solidarity spurred by the murder of 17 Parisians, still might be worthy of attention, as they will protest the killing of nearly 1 million innocent people every year.

There will be one in Augusta on Saturday that, based on past experience, will draw several hundred Mainers, while the one in Washington on Thursday historically includes 200,000 to 300,000 marchers.

Not bad for the middle of January, even if President Obama won’t be showing up there, either.

The occasion for both events – along with many others around the country, including a big San Francisco rally that typically draws 50,000 or more – is next Thursday’s 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that, along with its companion Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion on demand.

Here are some newsworthy details about this year’s events:

 The Augusta rally, called “Hands Around the Capitol,” is scheduled to include newly elected 2nd District Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, the highest-ranking elected official ever to attend. Newly re-elected Gov. Paul LePage, who has attended previous rallies, is also supposed to be there, along with state Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls.

One would hope that with that kind of support, some substantial pro-life legislation might be in the offing in the coming legislative session. Pro-lifers could get tired of voting for people who offer vocal support, but then fail to deliver.

One bill to keep an eye on is L.D. 83, which would require the consent of a parent or guardian of a minor seeking an abortion. Other close relatives could step in where abuse is affirmed by the minor (though abuse can also come from the person who got the girl pregnant and is forcing her to get rid of the baby, something this bill is designed to prevent).

It includes an exception for genuine medical emergencies and a judicial bypass procedure to prevent duress.

 Such laws are gaining support nationwide: A Wall Street Journal story titled “Abortion Limits Pick Up Steam in GOP-led States” reported last week that, “In the past four years, states have passed 231 laws aimed at curbing abortions, more than in the entire previous decade,” and added, “Antiabortion bills have been filed in advance of this year’s legislative sessions in at least 10 states … with more sure to come.”

 Meanwhile, under the headline, “Abortion clinics suffer huge losses in 2014,” Breitbart.com reported that across the United States, “a total of 73 abortion clinics shut down in the past 12 months, the second highest single-year closing ever. The closings include a combination of facilities that perform surgical abortions and those that provide abortion medicines only.”

The article said that, according to the Texas-based pro-life group Operation Rescue, “in 1991 there were 2,176 surgical abortion clinics in the United States, and since then 75 percent of those facilities have closed.”

In some regions, it is difficult to find doctors willing to kill unborn babies. It’s good to know many physicians still take seriously their charge to preserve life, not end it.

In other places, laws requiring that abortion facilities have admitting privileges at a local hospital have resulted in the closing of some substandard sites.

The laws were adopted in the wake of gruesome discoveries at the office of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia, who considered sanitation an option while the state ignored him for years. He finally was convicted of murder after a woman died in a hallway after a botched procedure.

 But abortion is still a profit center for Planned Parenthood. Its annual report for its last fiscal year, from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, showed it performed 327,653 abortions during that time. That’s one out of every three U.S. abortions, 37 per business hour, one every 90 seconds.

The group says it got 41 percent of its revenue from government grants and reimbursements, totaling $528.4 million, even though it has reported assets of $1.4 billion, and said its revenue exceeded expenses by $127 million.

The website LifeSiteNews.com noted, “For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 174 abortions.” Its “cancer prevention services are down 17 percent over one year, (while) contraceptive services dropped by 4 percent.”

 Finally, not entirely by coincidence, in New York City more black babies are aborted than are born, and the abortion rate for minorities exceeds their representation in the city’s population by double digits.

Could it be true that if #blacklivesmatter, so do black babies’ lives?

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

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