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Thousands march against abortion in Jefferson City as efforts ramp up nationwide


Despite the rainy weather, thousands gathered in the capital city Wednesday for Midwest March for Life.

The annual anti-abortion event drew more than 2,000 people in 2021. The March began in 2010 as a way to commemorate the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The fate of the decision to legalize abortion in the United States is up in the air as the court considers a request from Mississippi to overturn Roe v. Wade.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Missouri has a trigger law already in place that would automatically ban abortions in the state.

Prochoice Missouri Executive Director Mallory Schwarz said she expects the Supreme Court to overturn the nearly 50-year-old judgment because of the political ideologies of the justices.

Missouri has only one abortion clinic, a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.

"While [losing] Roe will be a blow to the nation, Roe has never been sufficient in protecting our rights and our access to abortion," Schwarz said. "And so we are we expect Missourians will face similar hardships they're facing right now."

Speakers at the March for Life rally were in favor of the high court overturning Roe v. Wade.

"So we think it's best to see it overturned," said ThriVe Nation CEO Bridget VanMeans. "It looks like it will then go to the states and the states can each decide. And of course, we're thrilled to be here in Missouri because of course Missouri is a state that affirms men and of course, empowers and equips women."

Several states have passed sweeping antiabortion legislation, such as Texas's six-week ban. Missouri lawmakers are considering several anti-abortion bills.

House Bill 2810, sponsored by Rep. Brian Seitz (R-Branson), would ban any abortions after 10 weeks. This legislation also applies to ectopic pregnancies, which are dangerous to the mother. This bill passed out of committee in the House of Representatives and is on the informal calendar for perfection in the full chamber.

House Bill 2012, sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kelly (R-Mountain Grove) also seeks to ban abortions. Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R-Arnold) introduced an amendment that would prevent Missourians from crossing state lines to get an abortion. This bill has a public hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday morning, the same day as the March for Life.

Midwest March for Life events took place from 7:45 a.m. to at least 2 p.m. Wednesday. Author Abby Johnson is spoke in the Capitol rotunda and signed books. Several local churches lent support to marchers, including the Capitol's neighbor St. Peter's Catholic Parish. Bishop Shawn McKnight was one of the speakers, as well as Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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