Abortion decision anniversary marked by both sides at Capitol

Abortion protest
Hundreds of protesters of legalized abortion marched through St. Paul on Monday, ending with a rally at the state Capitol.
MPR Photo/Greta Cunningham

Both sides on the abortion rights debate are marking today's 34th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing a women's right to an abortion.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life held its annual "march for life" ending at the steps of the state Capitol this afternoon.

Rep. Neva Walker and Sen. Sandy Pappas
Rep. Neva Walker and Sen. Sandy Pappas outlined the two goals of the legislative session during a news conference Monday. One is to "promote strong family planning funding," and the other is to establish "comprehensive sexuality education" in Minnesota schools.
MPR Photo/Greta Cunningham

This morning Planned Parenthood of Minnesota held a press conference outlining the organization's legislative agenda for the year.

President, Sarah Stoesz, says the focus is on promoting funding for family planning and providing sexuality education in Minnesota schools. Stoesz says both sides in the abortion debate may have some areas of agreement.

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"I certainly invite all those who will be protesting today outside the Capitol, who oppose abortion, to join our coalition and to stand with us as we take concrete steps to make birth control accessible to all Minnesotans and to decrease the rate of abortion in this state," she said.

Stoesz says Planned Parenthood believes providing access to birth control will curb unwanted pregnancies and thus decrease the number of abortions.

The Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life, however, has its own legislative agenda. At the Capitol rally, members of the group called for a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions, asked for legislation requiring physicians performing abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. and called for a ban on public funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty addresses the MCCL rally.