Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the state’s largest pro-life group, released a video Friday featuring several Republican lawmakers to mark the annual March for Life.
The anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which turned 48 Friday, is traditionally commemorated by pro-lifers with a march on the National Mall. In Minnesota, pro-life groups generally protest on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol, but the event was conducted virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Government’s primary responsibility is to protect life,” said Sen. Michelle Benson, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, which is where most bills dealing with the topic of abortion are discussed.
“And it’s even more important that when someone doesn’t have their own voice, that you be a voice and that I be a voice for them,” she added.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 62 million abortions have been performed in America, according to MCCL, with over 660,000 of those taking place in Minnesota.
In the video, Republican leaders from both the state and national level spoke about the importance of continuing to fight against abortion.
“We need to do everything we can to make sure that we bring these unnecessary abortions to an end here in the state of Minnesota and we’re going to continue that fight here at the Capitol,” said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka echoed Daudt’s message.
“You can never give up,” said Gazelka. “We’ve made a number of positive steps, a number of little things that we’ve done, and I think we’re convincing more and more of the next generation how precious life is. It’s a gift from God.”
Although the number of abortions performed in Minnesota has been trending downwards since 2006, roughly 10,000 are still performed each year, with Planned Parenthood being responsible for most of them.
On Roe v. Wade’s anniversary, many Democrats said that abortion access needs to not only be protected, but expanded.
“Today is the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the court decision that legalized abortion in America,” Democratic Rep. Kelly Morrison said in a video. “Yet today, nearly half a century later, abortion access is out of reach for millions of Americans and the United States Supreme Court is poised to gut Roe v. Wade. We’re on the brink of losing control of our own bodies.”
VIDEO ▶️: Happy 48th anniversary of #RoevWade! Rep. Kelly Morrison, an OBGYN, shares how this landmark ruling has helped families make their own reproductive health care decisions, including their right to an abortion. pic.twitter.com/qhGZXPBAcK— Minnesota House DFL (@mnhouseDFL) January 22, 2021
Though some celebrated the anniversary, U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, the spouse of the director of MCCL, called it a “tragedy.”
“Today we come together to mark the 48th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade tragedy,” said Fischbach. “We must use our voices to speak up for what we know is right. We must continue to advocate for the defenseless … If we don’t speak up, nobody will.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer called the right to life the “most essential liberty.”
“I know that the 117th Congress will bring a new assault on this liberty, but I stand ready to defend it,” he said, while his colleague, U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, said “each and every one of us, including the unborn, are made in the image of God.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden once again promised to codify the Roe v. Wade decision in federal law on Friday.