Pope Francis gives support to D.C. abortion protest _lowres

Advocate Staff Photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- About 3,500 people march down 4th Street in downtown Baton Rouge for the second annual Louisiana Life March in this January 2012 Advocate file photo. The March complements the National March for Life in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pope Francis is sending his support for an anti-abortion march today in the nation’s capital.

Francis tweeted Wednesday that “I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable.”

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators are gathering for the annual march to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

The “March for Life” begins on the National Mall with a rally at noon. Then protesters will march along Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court. The demonstration coincides with the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Organizers say the theme of this year’s event is adoption and eliminating stigma around adoption as an alternative to abortion.