Thousands of Virginians gathered in the rain Thursday outside the state Capitol to march for the rights of unborn babies.
The Virginia March for Life took place as the Democrat-controlled state legislature moves forward with radical pro-abortion legislation that would strip away protections from both mothers and unborn babies.
Though local news outlets did not provide a crowd count, WRIC News 8 reports more than 7,000 pro-lifers attended the march in 2019 and similar numbers were expected this year.
“As a resident of Virginia, I am deeply saddened by what has happened during these past two years in our state,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the national March for Life.
She said pro-abortion groups poured millions of dollars into Virginia in 2019 to elect pro-abortion lawmakers, and now those lawmakers are working to end protections for babies in the womb. Mancini urged Virginians to make their voices heard and not to give up hope.
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“The March for Life is about beauty, truth, and hope!” she said. “We are a peaceful demonstration built on foundations of love and respect and it is so incredible to see so many of my fellow Virginians standing up for life here today in Richmond.”
Two weeks ago, the Virginia House passed a bill to repeal common-sense abortion restrictions, including a requirement that doctors perform abortions and another that ensure women are fully informed prior to going through with the abortion. Other legislation making its way through the legislature would repeal the state parental consent requirement for minors seeking abortions, National Review reports. Legislation also has been introduced to repeal requirements that abortion facilities meet basic health and safety standards.
The Roanoke Times reports several pro-life lawmakers encouraged the crowd to continue to stand for life, despite the obstacles that they are facing.
“We need you to stand for life and stand behind us as we fight this battle with you,” state Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, said. “Our cause faces the most challenge since Roe was decided 47 years ago. Every statewide office in Virginia and majorities in both chambers of the Capitol are now occupied by individuals who are emphatically and unapologetically pro-abortion.”
State Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, explained just how radical the pro-abortion lawmakers’ agenda really is.
“They want [abortion] anytime, anywhere, and they want you to fund it,” Newman told the pro-lifers.
Sponsors of the Virginia March for Life included the Family Foundation, Virginia Society for Human Life and the Virginia Catholic Conference.
— Jeanne F. Mancini (@jeannemfl) February 13, 2020
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) February 13, 2020
— AnnEsther (@AnnEsther12) February 13, 2020
— Katie Glenn (@KatieGlenn_) February 13, 2020
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 13, 2020
The March for Life is on!!! pic.twitter.com/sZglkJ96Uk
— Family Foundation (@TFFVA) February 13, 2020
The rain didn’t keep these Patriots away! 2020 will be a turning point for VA. We must come out in strong numbers to protect our rights. I am proud to stand for the Constitution and for Virginia. 🏾🇺🇸#VAMarchForLife #ProLife #whywemarch pic.twitter.com/xmlEvjnt7E
— Omari Faulkner (@OmariFaulkner) February 13, 2020
Our @arlingtonchurch St. Anthony of Padua Church with Father Z., our pastor, are supporting the #vamarchforlife today. Keep all the marchers in your prayers today. @March_for_Life #whywemarch pic.twitter.com/PJMxdqkDpo
— St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (@StAnthonyofPad6) February 13, 2020