On the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S., anti-abortion demonstrators gathered on the steps of the state Capitol building to protest abortion.
Washington State March for Life President Noreen McEntee-Hobson urged the crowd to speak out against “the abortion mandate” – specifically referring to Senate Bill 5009 and House Bill 1044, which would both require that certain health care plans providing maternity care also cover the voluntary termination of pregnancy.
Protester Jenny Sims of Belfair said she attended the rally because she feels strongly about “protecting the rights of the unborn,” and said it is especially important to protest this year because of the pending legislation.
“I’m obviously opposed to the abortion mandate,” Sims said. “As an individual, I don’t feel like supporting or paying for people to have abortions.”
Several legislators spoke at the event, including Democratic state Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam. Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, led the crowd in singing “God Bless America” and said abortion is both a religious and a patriotic issue. Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, said the the Declaration of Independence is a pro-life document.
“The Declaration of Independence is about protecting life and property,” Scott said. “And with abortion, we’re not protecting life.”