‘March for Life’ in St. Paul gathers anti-abortion rally

A few thousand people gathered at the Minnesota Capitol Monday afternoon to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with an anti-abortion march.

The biggest change in the eyes of the marchers was the number of abortions in this state in 2022 — up almost 20% to 12,175.

Another change: About half of that increase was people coming from other states — mostly surrounding states, but also from Texas, which almost completely banned them in 2022.

A 15-year-old from Pine Island may be the face of the anti-abortion movement in Minnesota.

Abby Hewitt was born with congenital heart defects.

"Doctors told my parents I only had a 40% chance of making it through that surgery," Abby Hewitt told the crowd at the Capitol.

She's thrived since beating the odds.

51 years to the day after the Roe v. Wade decision, she doesn’t say doctors recommended an abortion, but she thinks Minnesota’s new laws would make it more likely.

Hewitt was part of a large contingent of young people joining the annual anti-abortion march on the steps of the state Capitol.

Many of them bussed in from private schools around Minnesota as the state’s biggest organization opposing abortion takes aim at reversing polls showing a majority in the state support abortion rights.

"We are beginning that by doing outreach to churches, outreach to young people, and outreach to Minnesota's Spanish speaking community," said Don Parker, a co-executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).

Democrats passed Minnesota’s Protect Reproductive Options Act last year, guaranteeing access to abortions, but the late term abortions highlighted by marchers Monday are extremely rare.

Of the 12,175 abortions in 2022 only one was performed in the third trimester – 92% were in the first three months.

Governor Tim Walz posted to social media Monday that the state will "stay in the business of protecting fundamental rights" despite the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

"We are likely to see even higher numbers for 2023," warned Cathy Blaeser, also a co-executive director of MCCL.

President Biden posted to social media that he stands for women’s reproductive freedom and called on Congress to restore the rights granted by the Roe v. Wade decision 51 years ago.

Since it was overturned last year, Planned Parenthood tells us the number of women coming to Minnesota for abortions has doubled.