Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol on Friday in solidarity with the March for Life, an annual event in Washington, D.C.
A coalition of anti-abortion organizations held the local rally, which is planned for the same week as when Roe v. Wade was decided. People at the rally began with a prayer, had several speakers and marched around the Capitol with signs that said “pray to end abortion” and “choose life.”
Speakers called on marchers to support foster children, sex education and prenatal care and to volunteer.
Several legislators attended the rally, and Sen. Albert Olszewski, R-Kalispell, discussed legislation he will introduce this session. The legislation hasn’t been drafted yet, but the senator said in the case of a medical problem risking the life of the mother or the fetus, the mother could ask to be induced.
“That means late-term abortions are no longer necessary,” he said.
Olszewski asked the crowd to support the bill if it passes the House and Senate.
“You’re going to have to help me with the governor,” he said.
Patrick Webb, a southwest field representative for U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., read a letter of support on his behalf.
“Thank you for your persistence in fighting for the most vulnerable among us. It is my privilege and honor as your us senator to carry on the fight for life with you,” Daines said.
Daines said he was co-sponsoring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. He also supports acts to protect health care workers who refuse to be involved in abortions and vowed to keep fighting to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lauren Rhoda, with the Carroll College Saints for Life group, said she believes abortion will end sooner than one might think. She attended a March for Life event last week in San Francisco and said there were 50,000 people marching. She said she was optimistic, despite counter-protests and hateful remarks.
“We live in the midst of a culture of death,” she said. “Ours is a culture of life.”
After the march, Ann Bukacek, president of the Montana Pro-Life Coalition, discussed the idea of personhood legislation with approximately 25 people who attended the rally.
Bukacek supports an amendment to the Montana Constitution that would establish personhood and prohibit all abortion. According to Montana Pro-Life Coalition’s website, personhood is defined as “every human being, from the moment life begins, deserves equal protection under the law.” The organization says life begins at conception. Bukacek said it’s the key to overturning Roe v. Wade.
She said ultrasound, clean facility and parental notification laws don’t stop abortion.
“If you have a clean facility, you can take this life,” she said. “It’s not designed to stop abortion.”
Strategies discussed to stop abortion included supporting anti-abortion Democrats, prayer and a personhood ballot initiative.
“They call me an extremist,” Bukacek said. “I am.”
The Montana Pro-Life Coalition is hosting a second annual personhood rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 2 from 2 to 5 p.m.