HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Monday, thousands packed the Harrisburg streets at the state’s first March for Life rally.
Many traveled hundreds of miles with one goal in mind: to urge lawmakers to change their stance on abortion.
“I want to show my support for the state; [I] don’t know too much about state politics but wanted to be with the people who kind of believe like me,” pro-life supporter Kim Bodie said.
The rally began with introductions and speeches including personal pro-life anecdotes.
“In the past six weeks, I’ve had two daughters who’ve had miscarriages—they were seven weeks, but I’ve heard the heartbeat," one woman chanted at the podium.
The current law allows pregnant women the ability to have an abortion up to 24 weeks or if their life is in danger.
Back in May, legislators introduced three pro-life bills:
- The Unborn Child Dignity Act: requires health care facilities to provide parents the option of burial or cremation after the death of an unborn child.
- The Down Syndrome Protection Act: prohibits an abortion due to a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
- Heartbeat Bill: prohibits any abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically at six weeks.
Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the bills and in a statement following the “March For Life” rally, he said:
“As I have said before, so-called ‘pro life’ policies are actually anti-choice," he said. "Instead of rallying for policies that have detrimental impacts on Commonwealth residents, we should all be focused on policies to support women, children, and families."
In addition, Wolf said he plans to veto any bill that is "anti-choice."
Planned Parenthood also issued a statement with the same tune saying: “Our message has never been clearer: abortion is health care. We believe all Pennsylvanians should be able to make their own decisions without shame, judgment, or stigma.”
Pro-life advocates say they plan to push their anti-abortion message until the laws are changed.