Cori Connor-Morse stood among the white columns of Parkman Bandstand, voice quavering as she recounted the loss of her unborn child.
“My baby should not be in heaven. My baby should be all grown up and living his life here, with us, as it was intended by our creator,” Connor-Morse said, recalling the abortion she had and the regret she later felt.
A crowd of about 600 abortion opponents rallied around her Sunday, huddling under umbrellas as they shouted their support. The rally and subsequent Massachusetts March For Life, sponsored by walkers’ family and friends, raised money for 16 pregnancy resource centers across the state, including Operation Rescue in Boston and New Women’s Center Inc., in Springfield.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, was among several speakers who addressed the crowd.
Waving signs and tambourines as they were pelted by rain, the activists looped 2 miles around the Boston Common and the Public Garden, pausing for a moment of silence at the State House.
Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens For Life, said, “1.2 million babies have been aborted in Massachusetts since Roe v. Wade in 1973. That’s a lot of deaths.”
State Representative James Lyons of Andover, who attended the march, said the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion 40 years ago, was a mistake.
“We have a responsibility to protect human life,” Lyons said.
Four bills addressing abortion are being considered by state legislators, march organizers said. Their policies include more health regulations in abortion clinics, they said, options that allow taxpayers to fund Baby Safe Havens instead of abortion clinics, banning abortions of fetuses who can feel pain 20 weeks after conception, and banning partial-birth abortions, which occur while the fetus is being born.
The Rev. Matt Williams, director of Faith Formation in the Archdiocese of Boston, said the law classifies the murder of a pregnant woman as a double murder but doesn’t classify abortion as a criminal act.
“All men are created equal. All life is sacred and deserves to be protected under the Constitution,” Williams said. “There are 7 billion people, but no one has your fingerprints. You are unique.”
Kelley McCormick, who emceed the rally, also emphasized unborn children’s constitutional rights.
“The Constitution promises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” she said. “If you don’t get a chance at life, then you don’t get an opportunity for liberty and happiness.”
Standing in front of the State House, children, parents, and Franciscan nuns prayed, chanting, “I believe that we vote life.”
Kimberlyn Santana, 13, wore a trash bag over her clothes as she marched, a star-speckled tapestry of the Lady of Guadalupe draped, cape-like, across her shoulders.
“Life before you’re out of the womb is important,” Kimberlyn said. “The child that was in your womb could have been an amazing person.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts and Planned Parenthood officials could not be reached for comment.
Rosa Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.