Demonstrators on both sides of the abortion issue gathered Friday outside the Planned Parenthood office in St. Paul.
Around 500 demonstrators were in attendance by midday. Police say no incidents were reported and patient care was not disrupted at the annual Good Friday protest. Planned Parenthood, which also provides comprehensive health care services, is the largest provider of abortions in Minnesota.
Hundreds of more people are expected to join in throughout the day, said Sarah Stoesz, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North and South Dakota president.
Planned Parenthood officials say abortion is a deeply personal decision that women and their families should be allowed to make free of government interference.
"We want to make sure that women and families are allowed to do this in privacy and we respect them and we don't want the government to interfere," Stoesz said.
Martha Moran of Mounds View brought her three children to the rally. She supports adoption as an alternative to abortion.
"I'm opposed to abortion because it seems pretty clear that biologically there is a unique human life present from the moment of conception," Moran said. "I don't think there is any good way to delineate the time when that unborn child becomes a person that can be protected by law simply because the development process -- it's a continuum that doesn't stop until a person dies, really."