A massive crowd gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday for the 46th annual statewide March for Life on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
The march began with a prayer service up the hill from the Capitol Building at the Cathedral of St. Paul, which was packed full and has a maximum seating capacity of 3,000. Dozens of Republican legislators joined the pro-life marchers at the Capitol, where House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) declared that “the right to life is a basic human right and should be protected by all those in elected office.”
“We know that Minnesota is a pro-life state, and your presence here on a frigid January day is a testament to your belief in this cause,” he said to applause. “It sends an important message to legislators and other elected officials that we are doing the right thing when we stand on the side of life.”
Daudt went on to discuss the pro-life pieces of legislation the House passed during the last session, which were ultimately vetoed by former Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN), who “was beholden to these extreme pro-abortion interest groups.”
“Last session as Speaker of the House I was proud to put on Gov. Dayton’s desk two bills—one to end taxpayer funding of abortion, and one to require licensing and inspection of abortion clinics,” Daudt said, calling the bills “common sense” measures.
“I don’t need to tell you how critical it is that we elect a pro-life governor if we’re going to advance the pro-life cause in this state. While we no longer have a pro-life majority in the Minnesota House, I know that we can count on Sen. [Paul] Gazelka (R-Nisswa) and our Senate majority that is pro-life to stand strong and prevent any bills from getting to the governor’s desk that would promote abortion,” Daudt concluded.
Gazelka also addressed the crowd in attendance, encouraging them to have “hope that we can overcome evil with good.”
“That’s what this cause has taken. It’s been step after step after step, and today I hear you talking about the fact that we want to give women the right to see an ultrasound—that’s a step. That’s not the end goal, but it’s something that again shows people what actually is going on,” he added.
Another pro-life measure passed during the last session would have required abortionists to first ask women if they would like to view images from their ultrasound scans, but it was also vetoed by Dayton.
The Minnesota March for Life was organized by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), whose legislative director, Andrea Rau, told the crowd that “if we have to, we will be outside in January for 40 more years.”
“It is an amazing testament to the heart and soul of the pro-life movement that you all made it here today,” she said.
The MCCL said it will continue to push for legislation that will share “life-saving information” with women seeking abortions, and will make the ultrasound bill vetoed by Dayton a 2019 priority.
The Minnesota House Republicans released a statement after Tuesday’s march, saying they were “inspired by the countless Minnesotans marching today in defense of the unborn.”
We are inspired by the countless pro-life Minnesotans marching today in defense of the unborn. Every human life has value and deserves to be protected. House Republicans will always stand up for life and the rights of the unborn. #mnleg #MarchForLife pic.twitter.com/M09tq8viTV
— MN House Republicans (@mnhousegop) January 22, 2019
“Every human life has value and deserves to be protected,” the statement continued. “House Republicans will always stand up for life and the rights of the unborn.”
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