Pro-Life Wisconsin presented its Activists of the Year Award to Leif and Karen Arvidson, in part for organizing picketing at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse.
The La Crosse couple, who have eight children, were honored Thursday night during the organization’s annual Living Courage Awards Dinner at the Radisson Hotel.
They began leading demonstrations outside Mayo-Franciscan on March 5, 2014, based on their contentions that Dr. Carl Rose of Mayo Health Clinic in Rochester, Minn., had advised Karen to have an abortion during a difficult pregnancy in 2012 and that he performs the procedure in Rochester.
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Rose and other Mayo-Rochester doctors occasionally work as consultants on high-risk pregnancies at Mayo-Franciscan. Officials there have said they do not perform abortions, a point that the Arvidsons acknowledge.
Leif, executive director of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse, Karen and other protesters have said they will continue picketing until Mayo-Franciscan cuts ties with the physicians.
Also honored at the dinner was State Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, named Legislator of the Year for his work involving life issues.