Thousands of Minnesotans gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon for the annual March for Life.
The annual pro-life event is organized by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) to “mourn the injustice of abortion and to call for protection of unborn children and support for their mothers.”
“We must never forget the devastation of abortion. Each life lost is irreplaceable,” MCCL’s Cathy Blaeser said during the program on the Capitol steps. “As we look forward to the coming year—to pending court cases, to legislative battles, and to the elections this fall that could impact life for decades to come—let’s remember the crucial importance of every single innocent human being.”
The organization announced its support for two pro-life bills during the rally. The first, H.F. 1312 and S.F. 1609, would protect unborn children from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is when unborn babies can experience pain. The second bill, H.F. 1108 and S.F. 1168, would guarantee women have the option of viewing an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion.
Both bills passed the Minnesota Senate during last year’s legislative session but failed to advance out of the DFL-controlled House.
Several prominent Republican politicians spoke at the rally, including Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08). The first-term congressman, whose son has Down Syndrome, expressed his support for federal legislation to ban abortions performed on the basis of a Down Syndrome diagnosis.
“I am incredibly energized looking out at so many Minnesotans, all from different backgrounds and walks of life, willing to brave the weather and stand side by side in defense of the most vulnerable,” he said. “I believe life is a gift that must be cherished and defended. Whenever I look at my son, Isaac, I see a marvelous creation from God.”
It was an honor to speak at the March For Life Rally at the Minnesota State Capitol this afternoon. I was inspired to see so many Minnesotans from all walks of life standing side by side in support of the unborn! pic.twitter.com/4a9NQwWWkB
— Pete Stauber (@RepPeteStauber) January 22, 2020
Stauber said it was “an honor” to speak at the event and promised to “oppose efforts to use government resources to fund abortion.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) and Assistant House Minority Leader Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) both addressed the crowd.
“You’re standing up for life, and yet you still care for the women who have gone through abortion,” said Gazelka. “You’re compassionate; you’re reaching out to them to bring healing.”
Former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, now a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District, was also in attendance.
“What an incredible turnout today at the March for Life rally in St. Paul,” she said on Twitter. “Protecting the unborn and advancing pro-life legislation will be among my top priorities in Congress.”
What an incredible turnout today at the @March_for_Life rally in St. Paul. Protecting the unborn and advancing #prolife legislation will be among my top priorities in Congress. #MN07 pic.twitter.com/FaTDsoIlK2
— Michelle Fischbach (@FischbachMN7) January 22, 2020
Fischback is seeking the Republican endorsement to run against Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07), who is one of the last remaining pro-life Democrats in Congress and sent a written greeting to the rally-goers Wednesday. During her time in the Minnesota Senate, Fischbach had a 100-percent pro-life voting record and her congressional campaign has been endorsed by MCCL and National Right to Life.
“Sending my best to those standing for human rights in St. Paul,” Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01) wrote on Twitter. “We must protect the lives of those most vulnerable—unborn children, the elderly, and people with disabilities and special needs. I am unapologetically pro-life and will always defend the right to life.”
Sending my best to those standing for human rights in St. Paul. We must protect the lives of those most vulnerable – unborn children, the elderly, and people with disabilities and special needs. I am unapologetically Pro-Life and will always defend the right to life. @MCCL_org
— Congressman Jim Hagedorn (@RepHagedorn) January 22, 2020
Former Congressman Jason Lewis, now a candidate for U.S. Senate, was also in attendance.
According to MCCL, 650,000 babies have been killed in Minnesota since Roe v. Wade was enacted, including 9,910 in 2018 alone.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Minnesota March for Life” by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.