Last year’s “Hands Around the Capitol” march is pictured. Contributed

AUGUSTA — Traditionally, people brave frigid temperatures to participate in the “Hands Around the Capitol” rally and march each January in Augusta. The event has been held annually for 47 years since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Participants rally, march and encircle the statehouse to pray that all will come to realize the value of human life from conception to natural death.

This year, due to the pandemic, the event will look different. The event traditionally kicks off with a large Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert Deeley, at St. Mary of the Assumption Church. Then, a rally is held in the gym at St. Michael School, followed by the march. The Mass and rally are suspended for this year.

The 48th “Hands Around the Capitol” is set for Saturday, Jan. 23. At noon, participants will gather in the parking lot of St. Mary, 41 Western Ave., with the march to the statehouse starting at 12:15 p.m. Upon arrival, the bell at the statehouse will ring 48 times, representing the number of years since the legalization of abortion.

“We will gather in solemn memorial to be the voice of the innocent, vulnerable, and speechless who had no choice in the decision that ended their precious life,” said Karen Vachon, president and executive director of Maine Right to Life, which organizes the event.

For more information about the Hands Around the Capitol Rally or the Maine Right to Life Committee, visit or call 207-782-0101.

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