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Groups March For Life On Capitol Square Thursday, As Dems Work To Undo Abortion Restrictions

women wearing red in front of VA State Capitol
March for Life held a march around the Capitol today. (Photo: Whittney Evans/VPM)

About 2,500 people gathered on Capitol Square Thursday for the 2nd annual Virginia March For Life. The group rallied against abortion in the state and called out Democrats for supporting increased access to abortion in the Commonwealth.

Sen. Steve Newman (R-Lynchburg) spoke against legislation Democrats proposed this year to undo abortion restrictions that Republicans put in place years ago.  

“There’s still a group up here that’s holding on to the bad old days,” Newman said. “They want abortion on demand and according to the bills that have been passed recently, they want it any time, any where and they want you to fund it. We are doing everything we can to fight back.”

The House and Senate have already voted to repeal laws that Republicans approved in 2012 when they held the majority, such as requiring women to have an ultrasound and to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.  

Del. Kathy Byron (R-Campbell) praised President Donald Trump while criticizing Virginia Democrats.   

“While Virginia takes a step backwards to return to the dark days of the early 1970’s, America has a leader who had the courage to attend in person, the national March for Life just a few weeks ago,” Byron said.

Yemotele Quarshie attended the rally with her mom. She said her stance isn’t anti women’s rights.

“We care about that unborn life and we care about the mother,” Quarshie said. “It’s not, just keep the baby and completely negate the mother, which I feel is a huge misconception.”

Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said the state has seen two decades of attacks on abortion access and reproductive rights in Virginia. Since 2010, Scholl said conservative legislators advanced over 170 restrictions on abortion access and reproductive health. 

“When Virginians went to the polls last November, they voted for candidates who are going to make sure everyone is able to decide for themselves whether and when to start a family,” Scholl said.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.