Talk:March for Life

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Hi I saw that you guys are coordinating some buses from New Jersey and I was hunting around for a way to get down there. How may I sign up for one of the seats, and how do I get there? Is there an e-mail I should send this request to? --Lifemarchny 23:17, 6 January 2011 (EST)

You can email us at "" for details. Thanks for your interest!--Andy Schlafly 23:27, 6 January 2011 (EST)
Thank you very much! I will email now. --Lifemarchny 00:11, 7 January 2011 (EST)
Thanks, I've responded.--Andy Schlafly 00:25, 7 January 2011 (EST)

How many people does each attendee educate?

This is an interesting article on a worthwhile subject. I tried to make it more clear by separating footnotes from other references.

However, the claim that the "influence of the March for Life is approximately 20 times its attendance, as the average person who attends communicates his participation to 20 others" seems to come from the same place where we find that "at this moment" is a nuance of ιδού: it's a pleasing invention which fits the narrative.

AugustO 10:47, 24 January 2012 (EST)

It's a reasonable estimate based on logic and common sense. Feel free to finetune it if the improvements are justified.--Andy Schlafly 11:18, 24 January 2012 (EST)
  • So what's your reasoning to come up with the number 20, why not 10 or 30?
  • Have you performed any survey which leads to the factual statement: the average person who attends communicates his participation to 20 others? Average person somewhat implies that there has been a sample taken...
  • What's about the overlap? In you sample, have you asked for the number of people which whom the individual communicated? Don't you think that many of the participants of the march communicate with the same people, as they share a circle of friends?
  • Or did you look up surveys of other demonstrations? I'd love to see a link, as this seems an interesting line of research.
AugustO 11:36, 24 January 2012 (EST)
All that is needed here is a distinction between controversial and uncontroversial facts. No one would dream of asking for a citation for an uncontroversial fact, such as "the sky is blue". No one would dream of letting a controversial claim, such as "more than half of people have seen at least one Shakespeare play" pass unchallenged. The question is whether the bit about talking to twenty people each is uncontroversial or self-evident enough not to require further explanation.
Now, I would argue that it is. It must be a rare person who doesn't know 20 other people, and since march participants are keen on their cause, no doubt they are going to talk about the march to most of the people they know. And as the article states, some such as clergy (or those running popular blogs) are going to reach a lot more people - maybe hundreds or even thousands. So it seems to me that 20 is if anything a low estimate, and if any change is to be made at all, the number should be increased. I think 35 or even 40 would be reasonable, taking into account high-reach individuals who are going to drag the average (mean) up significantly.--CPalmer 11:46, 24 January 2012 (EST)
Excellent points, CPalmer. A member of the clergy did attend our trip, and he mentioned it repeatedly to his entire congregration - perhaps a thousand people. Adults who are employed at companies had to obtain a day off, and that required telling everyone who might look for them at work that day, in addition to family members and friends. And so on.--Andy Schlafly 11:55, 24 January 2012 (EST)
In order to make the article more informative and convincing more concrete examples should be given instead and there is an overemphasis on quantification as there is no solid research being referenced. I think the more concrete you make things, the more convincing it will be. Speculation absent of solid research makes the article less convincing. Here is an example from 2010: "Kristan Hawkins, the head of Students for Life of America, is one of the pro-life advocates featured in the video. Our goal is to influence as many pro-lifers as possible to come to Washington on Friday, January 22nd and say ‘No Abortion in Health Care’ and then march up to the Capitol to meet with their elected representatives," she told today."[1] You could then cite someone talking to their representative. I also think the article should simply declare that the March for Life has an influence significantly beyond the 400,000 people who attend because the march attendees share their march experience and pro-life information with family and friends plus it spurs additional activism in people. In addition, I don't think it would be that hard to find someone saying something to this effect if you do a little digging. Finding such a quote would make the article more encyclopedic. You could also mention that clergy members who attend share their march experience and pro-life sermons after the events. Various examples could be given of actual clergy. I realize that some people love to quantify, particularly people with education and backgrounds in science and engineering, but I just think that quantifying absent of solid research opens the article to needless criticism. Conservative 12:32, 24 January 2012 (EST)
If people want to criticise, they will find something do criticise. Let them! There is no harm in providing a sensible estimate if it can be defended, and seeing a number in the millions for reach growing out of a six-figure attendance is more powerful than just saying "significantly more".
The only thing I would say is that we need to bear in mind that there will be some overlap. A clergyman might have a congregation of 1000, but if several members of that congregation also go on the march, a proportion of their 20 people will already be counted in that 1000. So maybe 20 is better than the 40 I suggested above.--CPalmer 12:42, 24 January 2012 (EST)
Unlike Wikipedia, Conservapedia allows for original research. Why not have a Conservapedian contact a reputable pro-life organization and ask them how many people they think the average attendee shares his/her experience with? In fact, several organizations could be contacted. That would be a better way of approaching things. I worked for an organization where I had to interview people in order to get information. When I was trained, I was told to ASK and not merely assume. You get better information that way. Many times people make bad assumptions due to having less information at their disposal. For example, an actual pro-life organization might have a better estimate on the number of clergy who attend. Conservative 12:50, 24 January 2012 (EST)
Here is the contact information for an organization with a broad base of supporters from different backgrounds: National Right to Life Committee (202) 626-8800. Why not ask them instead of taking a more speculative approach? It seems to me that the more speculative an encyclopedia article is, the less encyclopedic it is. Conservative 13:45, 24 January 2012 (EST)

I agree with User:Conservative: The statement The influence of the March for Life is approximately 20 times its attendance, as the average person who attends communicates his participation to 20 others is purely speculative, and stating it as a fact without further research makes the whole section looking dubious! Can't you rephrase the paragraph without made-up numbers? Or qualify them somewhat, like: obviously millions of people are influenced by the March for Life?

AugustO 02:51, 25 January 2012 (EST)

AugustO, you seem to be the anti-Voltaire: "I don't disagree with what you say, but I still don't think you should say it." Well, why not? No one disputes it, it's an obvious truth, and a quantified estimate is a powerful way to bring home the impact of these marches. This is too important a topic to be censoring key information.
Conservative, would you also want to give us a phone number to ring to ascertain that the sky is blue??? Sapere aude, my friend - dare to know for yourself! Yes, rigor is paramount to an encyclopedia, but where truths are uncontentious, jumping through hoops to fulfil some misguided notion of "due process" is a simple waste of time. Please, stop trying to censor this article.--CPalmer 08:45, 25 January 2012 (EST)
I'm not opposed to a quantified estimate, I'm against an estimate which is disguised as a fact - as it is done here: The influence of the March for Life is approximately 20 times its attendance, as the average person who attends communicates his participation to 20 others Where does the fact that the average person communicates his participation to 20 others come from? I'm missing a phrase like it can be estimated that the average persons communicates his participation to 20 others.
And still then it would be nice to see whether such an estimate holds, whether it was done with other events, etc - we spoke about the problem of overlap...
So, I disagree which the way some things are said, and I disagree with the way they are presented (estimates disguised as facts, for instance). And obviously, I don't think that wrong or even only misleading statements should be made in a truthful encyclopedia - whatever Voltaire's point of view on this subject may have been.
AugustO 09:01, 25 January 2012 (EST)


I used the <gallery> - tag to display the pictures. If you don't think that this is an improvement, please remove it. AugustO 02:27, 30 January 2012 (EST)