Pro-life Missourians filled the state Capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday to rally in support stronger pro-life policies.
The Midwest March for Life drew Republican policymakers, including Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, joined the march. Other speakers and guests included Abby Johnson, CEO and founder of And Then There Were None; Reagan Barklage, national field team director for Students for Life America; and Catherine Glenn Foster, CEO of Americans United for Life. Members of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City and the Missouri Baptist Convention also spoke at the rally.
Hope Miller, a teenage pro-life activist, came from Chicago to speak and participate in the rally. “I hope that people can truly understand the beauty and dignity of all human life,” she said. “There’s a lot of lack of respect among my generation.”
She was inspired by her late grandfather.
” I was scheduled to speak with him on a Saturday, and he passed away the Monday before,” Miller said. “That just gave me a new passion. I already had this passion for the unborn, but with his passing had this new passion for making him proud, first and foremost, and for carrying on his legacy.”
The march began on the steps of the south Capitol lawn and traveled to the governor’s mansion before concluding back at the Capitol. The Midwest March for Life, an organization founded in 2010 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, sponsored the event.
Bev Ehlen, Missouri State Director for Concerned Women for America, says the spring downpours did not hamper the enthusiasm of the rally-goers. “It didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended,” Ehlen stated. “I was impressed that even though it was raining and all the events were scheduled to be outside, how many people still came not knowing that we were able to be in the rotunda.”
The rally came at a particularly decisive moment in both state and federal politics. Missouri passed a strict abortion ban in 2019, but courts have prevented it from going into effect. Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, who is running for state Senate, garnered national media attention this year for her efforts to prevent Missourians from obtaining out-of-state abortions. Other GOP lawmakers are working on anti-abortion legislation as well.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on an abortion case from Mississippi this year, which could have an impact on Missouri’s attempt to further restrict abortion services.
Missouri is a strong pro-life state. Just this week, the Missouri House advanced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion corporation. The bill also bans fetal tissue donations and puts additional restrictions on unsafe abortions.
Ehlen is encouraged by the pro-life movement in the state. “There is a real optimistic spirit among those who understand the sanctity of life. Truth has a way of shoring up one’s spine.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice