The following news release was issued today, Jan. 22, 2014.
ST. PAUL — Thousands of Minnesotans came to the State Capitol today to urge lawmakers to ban taxpayer funded abortions. Pro-lifers also called on legislators to protect the safety of women by licensing abortion centers. The annual Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) March for Life commemorates the millions of lives lost to abortion.
The 40th annual MCCL March for Life marked the 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 588,000 unborn Minnesota children (Minnesota Department of Health), and more than 56 million unborn babies nationwide.
"In Minnesota, more than one-third of all abortions are paid for with our tax dollars," stated MCCL Development Associate Jan Ochsner. The huge crowd of citizens gathered from across the state responded with thunderous boos. "Rather than turning our backs on women and encouraging them to get a free abortion, we should be using that money—our tax dollars—to provide real help to women."
MCCL's 2014 legislative agenda calls upon lawmakers to end taxpayer funded abortions, which account for 34 percent of all abortions performed in the state. This is the highest percentage since the 1995 Doe v. Gomez decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court required taxpayers to pay for abortions performed on low-income women. This percentage has increased nearly every year since the court ruling. Taxpayers have funded 62,252 abortions since the decision, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
MCCL's agenda also seeks the licensing and inspection of abortion facilities, which currently are exempt from licensing and inspection required of other outpatient surgical centers across the state. Such minimal oversight by the Minnesota Department of Health would help ensure a degree of safety for women entering abortion facilities.
MCCL again is calling for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortions at the point when an unborn child can feel pain. MCCL will also continue to support programs that provide help to pregnant and parenting mothers and their children, so that no woman ever feels forced into an abortion due to lack of resources.
Many of Minnesota's pro-life elected officials, including state legislators, were in attendance and were introduced during the brief program in the Capitol Rotunda. Pro-life Congressman John Kline read a list of recent protective legislation he has sponsored and added, "None of these has become law. That's why you're here today. Thank you for being here. Stay with it. We must protect life, and we cannot do it without you." Other pro-life Members of Congress Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Collin Peterson sent written greetings.
The annual event was moved inside for only the second time in 40 years due to severe weather conditions. View historical photos of the MCCL March for Life and photos from today's event on the MCCL website.