Pennsylvanians who support legal protections for innocent life including the unborn resoundingly celebrated the spirited showing at Monday’s Pennsylvania March for Life in Harrisburg, the Keystone State’s second such annual event.

Thousands of residents marched to the Capitol Building in support of legislation to prevent abortion, an issue that has seen a resurgence of interest since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide was nullified earlier this year. Pro-abortion activists held their own rally for Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial candidacy the day afterward, drawing few attendees.

“Yesterday’s PA March for Life was such an amazing event,” the pro-life Pennsylvania Family Council said in a statement Tuesday. “Thank you to everyone who came out to Harrisburg to stand with us in defense of the unborn!”

Current Pennsylvania law permits a mother to have an abortion at any point until 23 weeks into her pregnancy and, in cases in which the woman’s life is in danger, thereafter. Numerous state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation to either codify abortion rights in the state constitution or to advance restrictions. A constitutional amendment clarifying that the Pennsylvania Constitution does not recognize a right to terminate a pregnancy is presently moving through the legislative process but Governor Tom Wolf (D) has sued to block the measure. 

On Tuesday, Republican former U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette voiced her elation at the high pro-life turnout in the state’s capital, where she spoke to the crowd the day before. 

“There were so many young people at the PA March for Life … you’re on the right side of history,” she wrote on Twitter.

In her remarks at the march, Barnette related the story of how her mother was raped at 11 years old by a 21-year-old man and Barnette’s conception resulted from that attack. She said her mother’s decision to have her exemplifies respect for innocent life in all circumstances.

“I’m grateful that there were adults in the room — adults with a mind, with a heart,” she told attendees. 

State Senator Scott Martin (R-Strasburg) expressed his gladness for the outpouring of support for unborn life from Pennsylvanians.

“Absolutely incredible showing of love, enthusiasm and prayer at today’s 2nd Annual Pennsylvania March For Life in Harrisburg,” he tweeted. “I appreciated the opportunity to participate and stand with thousands to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Wolf meanwhile promised to ignore the sentiment offered outside the Capitol Building.

“Forced-birth advocates are descending on Harrisburg today for the ‘March for Life,’” he stated. “This is the loud minority. Most Pennsylvanians want their reproductive rights to be protected. I’ll veto any anti-choice bills that come my way.”

The pro-life cause in Pennsylvania has been severely hindered in recent years, owing to a solid Democratic majority on the state supreme court as well as an eight-year liberal Democratic governorship. Abortion opponents have a stalwart ally in the current GOP gubernatorial nominee, State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg), though he currently trails Shapiro significantly in the polls. One of the two will be elected on November 8. 

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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Pennsylvania Daily Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “March for Life” by March for Life Education and Defense Fund.