Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thousands join MCCL March for Life, call for ban on taxpayer funded abortions

Pro-life members of Congress, Legislature participate in March commemorating 38 years of abortion on demand

ST. PAUL – Nearly four thousand Minnesotans marched at the State Capitol today to urge lawmakers to ban taxpayer funded abortions. They also called for a prohibition on abortions after the point at which an unborn child can feel pain. The annual Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) March for Life commemorates the millions of lives lost to abortion.

The 2011 MCCL March for Life marked the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions that have resulted in the deaths of more than 555,000 unborn Minnesota children (Minnesota Department of Health), and more than 53 million unborn babies nationwide.

A large majority of Minnesota citizens support a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. In 2008 (most recent figures), Minnesotans were forced to pay more than $1.5 million for 3,754 elective abortions, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Taxpayers now fund 29 percent of all abortions in the state.

"Our state currently faces a six-billion dollar budget deficit, but we are still paying for abortions!" MCCL Legislative Associate Elisia Meyer told the huge crowd of citizens from across the state. "It's time to stop funding Minnesota’s abortion industry. This is the year to stop the killing!"

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks from fertilization in order to protect pain-capable unborn children from excruciating deaths. Fetal pain already is acknowledged in state law. Minnesota's Woman's Right to Know law (2003) and Unborn Child Protection Act (2005) require women considering abortion to be informed about fetal pain after 20 weeks gestation.

MCCL's 2011 legislative agenda also calls upon lawmakers to protect funding for Positive Alternatives as they deliberate over the budget deficit. Passed in 2005, this legislation provides grants to programs that help pregnant women in need successfully face the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. More than 25,000 women have received critical help through Positive Alternatives.

"Positive Alternatives saves lives," Meyer explained. "We must preserve funding for this program that offers women real choices!"

Many of Minnesota's pro-life elected officials, including members of Congress and the state Legislature, were in attendance and were introduced during the brief program on the Capitol steps.

Congressman John Kline noted the Jan. 19 vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the Obama health care law. "You know that that awful legislation has language allowing taxpayer funding of abortion," Kline said, urging citizens to continue their efforts to overturn it.

Congressman Erik Paulsen encouraged people to not give up the fight for life, reminding them, "There is nothing more important than life."

The U.S. House must vote to end taxpayer funding of the abortion industry, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann told the crowd. "We can zero out that checking account with the stroke of a pen!"

Congressman Chip Cravaack said he will work to repeal pro-abortion legislation and defund President Obama's attempt to increase abortions at home and overseas. "This is just the start of a year dedicated to promoting and protecting a culture of life," Cravaack said. "Thank you for fighting this fight with us!"

In a written greeting, Congressman Collin Peterson pledged to continue to work on pro-life policies. "I look forward to working with you over the next year as we continue to protect life for all human beings."

View photos from today's 2011 MCCL March for Life on the MCCL website.

MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization with more than 70,000 member families and 240 chapters across the state. For more information about MCCL, visit