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Minnesotans gather at Capitol to commemorate lives lost to abortion, urge protection of human rights

ST. PAUL — Thousands of Minnesotans converged on the state Capitol in St. Paul today to give voice to the idea that human rights belong to all human beings and that both unborn children and their mothers deserve our support and compassion. The annual Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) March for Life marked the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, which made abortion legal for any reason and stripped a whole class of innocent human beings, unborn children, of protection under the law.

"There have been more than 60 million unborn children killed by abortion, and more than 600,000 unborn babies in Minnesota alone," MCCL's Robyn Swiderski told the large crowd of citizens gathered from across the state. "Every single one of those children should have had a chance to live."

MCCL introduced its 2019 legislative agenda at today's event during a brief program on the Capitol steps. The agenda calls on lawmakers to enact legislation ensuring women have the option to view their ultrasound prior to undergoing abortion. Ultrasound is usually performed before an abortion, but women generally aren’t offered the chance to see. An MCCL-backed ultrasound bill passed through both the Minnesota House and Senate last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

"Women deserve to see the truth that an ultrasound shows," said Swiderski. "They deserve to make an informed decision about a procedure that is life-altering not just to the child, but for the mother as well."

Many of Minnesota's state legislators attended today’s March and were introduced during the program. Legislative leaders addressed the crowd and pledged their support for pro-life efforts.

"The right to life is a basic human right and should be protected by all those in elected office," House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt told the pro-life gathering. "Your presence here on a frigid January day is a testament to your belief in this cause."

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka lauded the pro-life movement’s incremental progress. "Being pro-life and protecting life from conception to death is something ... that we need to continue to advocate for," he said. "I saw many of you … marching down here step by step by step by step. And that's what this cause has taken. It’s been step, after step, after step."

Members of Congress sent written greetings to the crowd. "While I am unable to attend, know that I stand with you in support of human life," wrote Rep. Collin Peterson. "I look forward to working together to save lives in the 116th Congress."

"As the father of four beautiful children, I have always believed that each life has value and should be protected," said Rep. Pete Stauber. "It fills my heart with joy to know that so many Minnesotans are standing side by side in defense of the most vulnerable: the unborn."

"Defending our God-given rights, including the right to life, is a top priority for me," wrote Rep. Jim Hagedorn. "We must protect innocent, vulnerable life, especially unborn children, disabled individuals, the elderly and those with special needs."

Photos from today's event are available on the MCCL website.

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