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Pope Tweets Support For DC Anti-Abortion Protesters

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Pope Benedict XVI reacts during his weekly general audience on Jan. 23, 2013 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. (credit: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE,FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI reacts during his weekly general audience on Jan. 23, 2013 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. (credit: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE,FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Pope Benedict XVI takes to Twitter to offer support to the anti-abortion protesters who will march in Washington, D.C., Friday.

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

The pontiff tweeted that he will be with the protesters “from afar.”

“I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life,” the pope said on Twitter.

The Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception.

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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