JEFFERSON CITY – Fresh on the heels of almost 100,000 who descended on the nation’s capital to rally for life, organizers are asking Missourians to attend the Midwest March for Life, Feb. 1, in Jefferson City.
Crowds gathered in force at last year’s event in Jefferson City to spread their pro-life message that every child – even those not yet born – is loved by God, but Bonnie Lee, a member of Open Heart Baptist in Columbia and a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s executive board said she hopes the crowd is even bigger this year.
“Our march is to glorify Christ and stand for life,” she said. “One of the things we’re going to talk about is the ‘Missouri Miracle.’”
The ‘Missouri Miracle’ is a marked decrease in abortions in 2019 over 2018. A preliminary report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows that from January 1 through November 15, 2019, 1,354 abortions were conducted in Missouri by Planned Parenthood. That’s 1,354 too many, but it represents a 54 percent decrease from 2,910 abortions in 2018. An abortion pill clinic in Kansas City and a surgical abortion facility in Columbia — affiliates of Planned Parenthood — both halted abortions in 2018, and did no abortions in 2019.
“Everywhere we look in the pro-life community, people are looking at Missouri,” Lee said. “We have some very strong, God-fearing legislators and our governor who are standing strong. So while we’re celebrating what God has given us, we need to persevere because the battle is not over.”
The rally begins at 9:30 a.m. outside St. Peter Church just across the street from Missouri’s Capitol. There, Gov. Mike Parson will address the crowd. This marks the first time a sitting governor has attended the event. It comes just a few days after President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the national March for Life. At 10, the march itself begins, followed by the rally in the Capitol Rotunda.
Parson, a member of First Baptist, Bolivar, has been consistently pro-life since entering the office in the June of 2018. He signed Missouri’s “heartbeat bill” last spring, which banned abortion at the detection of a heartbeat at eight weeks, required second custodial parent notification, required consent requirements for out-of-state abortion referrals and – most notably – banned abortion if and when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Later in the spring, Parson blasted Missouri’s lone abortion provider for safety violations and botched abortions, entering a protracted legal battle to keep the facility closed until it brought its patient safety and cleanliness standards up to par.
Other speakers at the rally will include Katrina Gallic, development director of March for Life and David Bereit, the CEO of 40 Days for Life. Lunch will be at noon, and the student rally and adult apologetics event will be from 1 to 1:45.