Anti-abortion activists lobby for legislation

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JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Right to Life held what it calls its “Show Me Life” Pro-Life Action Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the event and said he is honored to stand with the group.

“Our budget includes more money for alternatives to abortion clinics than at any time in Missouri’s history,” Greitens said. 

He also brought up the state's budget.

“We have to do everything in our power to stand up for, protect, and defend the lives of the innocent unborn,” Greitens said.

The anti-abortion activists aimed to encourage legislators to pass what the group calls "pro-life legislation."

That includes tightening the abortion clinic inspection statute, “whistleblower” protection for abortion clinic employees and redirecting federal funding to federally qualified health centers and state rural health agencies.

“Our goal is to pass legislation that saves lives, and obviously we’re looking at protecting women, saving innocent babies and making sure that anybody that’s doing abortion is following Missouri law,” Susan Klein, legislative liaison for Missouri Right to Life said.

People spoke with legislators throughout the morning and joined for a rally at 12 p.m. that included a speaker.

Melissa Ohden, founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, spoke about her experiences at the event.

“My birth mother had an abortion procedure, I was meant to be poisoned in the womb, I was delivered believing I would be a ‘quote unquote’ successful abortion, I would be delivered deceased,” Ohden said. “And I was actually born alive.”

Alison Dreith, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, said Missouri Right to Life has a lot of missed priorities.

“With one remaining abortion clinic left for over three million women, we have enough undue burdens on Missouri women and it’s time for us to pass proactive policy,” Dreith said.

Many people wore “red for life” as they gathered on the 1st floor rotunda at 10 a.m.