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Thousands to march against abortion on 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

abortion protest outside planned parenthood in DC

FILE: Planned Parenthood clinic escorts, in orange, stand in front of a group of anti-abortion protestors outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington. (AP)

Abortion opponents plan to march in Washington in a demonstration that coincides with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that created a constitutional, nationwide right to abortion.

Thousands are expected for the noon Friday rally at the National Mall and in front of the Supreme Court.

Organizers say the event will feature former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Diane Black of Tennessee are also scheduled speakers.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Earlier this week, opponents marked the anniversary with workshops, prayers and calls for more limits on abortion rights.

Many streets will be closed for the rally.