WASHINGTON — Anti-abortion advocates prepare to descend on the National Mall in downtown Washington, DC, Friday afternoon for the annual March for Life, marking the 50th anniversary of the event with the first march since the Supreme Court annulled the ruling that protected the right to abortion throughout the country.

Organizers of the annual rally and march say they need to go ahead with the event despite last year’s high court decision to reverse the Roe v. Wade from 1973.

«Even with the wonderful blessing of Roe v. Wade being struck down, allowing more freedom at the state level to enact pro-life laws, the work necessary to build a culture of life in the United States of America is not finished,» the organizers say on their website.

The activists say they will continue to march each January «until a culture of life is restored in the United States of America.»

In a recent statement, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said: «This year will be a grim reminder of the millions of lives lost to abortion over the past 50 years, but also a celebration of how far we have arrived and where we should focus our efforts as a movement as we enter this new era in our quest to protect life.»

The Supreme Court overturned Roe in a 5-4 decision on June 24, nearly 50 years after the landmark ruling, in a case over Mississippi’s abortion ban, which it upheld in a 6-3 ruling.

Shortly after the ruling, more than half a dozen states rushed to ban abortion procedures altogether, while others imposed other restrictions. As of last week, more than a dozen states had banned all or most abortions.

And as conservatives roll out restrictions across the country, Democrats are expanding abortion access in states where they control legislatures.

The Biden administration has also sought to protect abortion rights despite the end of Roe. For example, the Food and Drug Administration finalized a rule change this month that expands the availability of abortion pills to many more US pharmacies, including large chains and mail-order companies.

The issue was on voters’ minds last year when they voted in the midterm elections. Americans named abortion and inflation as the biggest issues driving their votes, according to the NBC News exit poll.