OLYMPIA — Thousands showed up to share a pro-life message with lawmakers Tuesday.
Holding roses and hoisting signs, more than 4,000 people gathered at the steps of the Capitol for the annual “March for Life” rally to protest abortion, especially House Bill 2148, the so-called Reproductive Parity Act, which would require health-insurance plans to include abortion coverage.
Noreen McEntee-Hobson, president of Washington State March for Life, led the event.
“This isn’t a women’s issue, this is a political issue,” McEntee-Hobson told the crowd. “Women are on both sides.”
Lawmakers, including Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, and Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, spoke at the rally in support of pro-life legislation.
Kimberly Reis of Olympia brought her two daughters to the rally and carried a sign that said she was proud to be a woman and grateful to have children. Her daughters had signs, too.
“I just don’t think babies shouldn’t live,” said 8-year-old Aubren, waving a sign that said “abortion stops a beating heart.”
Her sister Maggie, 11, said children are a gift from God.
“They need people speaking out for them because they can’t.”
Washington State Patrol troopers said there were no pro-choice advocates at the event.
Pro-abortion-rights activists will gather Wednesday for an invite-only reception to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal in the U.S.
The NARAL Pro-Choice Washington lobby day is Feb. 3.