At a rally marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Tuesday that Arizona is a leader in defending the unborn.
“In Arizona, electing legislators … and a governor who have had the moral courage and fortitude to act to protect and preserve life has led Arizona to have the designation as the fifth most pro-life state in the country,” Montgomery said.
Scores joined him at a rally, organized by the Arizona Life Coalition, outside the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse.
The crowd included House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert.
“We gather to support women facing crisis pregnancies or have been harmed by the abortion industry and elected officials who stand for life,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy.
Montgomery lauded a state law prohibiting most abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even though the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing its legality.
“We will act to protect women and children by regulating abortions after 20 weeks to limit them to circumstances where the health or the life of the mother requires medical intervention,” Montgomery said, comparing the number of abortions of “55 million pre-born lives” since Roe to “nine Holocausts.”
Paula Nichols, wife of former Rep. Warde V. Nichols, R-Gilbert, encouraged women and men to consider adoption as an alternative and to support adoption agencies. The Nicholses adopted the youngest of their three children.
“While we can never stop our efforts to overturn Roe, the solution to ending abortion in our lifetime is not merely political,” she said. “By cultivating the culture in our state that encourages adoption, we can save lives.”
Leslie Collins, the center director of Mesa’s Crisis Pregnancy Center, which advocates for alternatives to abortion, said she wishes she had access to that information when she decided to have an abortion years ago.
“They (the abortion clinic) made it seem so easy, as if I were putting a Band-Aid on a wound,” Collins said. “The Crisis Pregnancy Center and other pregnancy resource centers in the state of Arizona truly care about women’s health.”
Event attendee Andy Miller, 24, said he hopes Arizona will continue elect leaders who oppose abortion.
“It would be awesome if Arizona could be the shining light for the rest of the country,” he said.