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More than 1,000 show for MN rally for abortion rights

Planned Parenthood leaders, legislators and speakers who support abortion rights pledged to keep abortions legal in Minnesota and help those in surrounding states.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Saturday, more than 1,000 people joined a rally near the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown St. Paul in response to this month's leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Speakers included Senator Tina Smith and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. 

"As long as I have this job and Governor Walz has this job, abortion will be protected in the state of Minnesota," Flanagan said.

Gina Washburn, age 69, held a sign that said "Planned Parenthood saved my life."

"When I was in college, I lived below the poverty line and I didn’t have any healthcare," Washburn said. "So Planned Parenthood was the only place I could get any birth control, pap and pelvic exams."

The vast majority of the crowd supported a woman's right to choose. A smaller rally countered the large crowd's cries, saying they were rallying for life beginning at conception.

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"The truth of the Bible, we are here to support life and to hopefully give His truth to the world and stop this horrendous killing of our beautiful children," said one woman, who asked to remain anonymous due to her role as a sidewalk counselor outside the clinic.

Renee Skogland, senior health center manager of the Minneapolis Uptown Planned Parenthood Clinic, said the showing of support at Saturday's event "tripled" their expectations.

"Minnesota is fortunate to be a safe place to have a safe and legal abortion,"
Skoglund said. "Where a lot of states around us, it looks like that’s going to be in jeopardy. So we’re very fortunate to have this healthcare opportunity for people with all incomes, regardless of their income."

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