A couple thousand abortion rights opponents came to Richmond Thursday for the March for Life.
They were there to voice their disapproval at the turn Virginia politics has taken this session.
Under a gray and rainy sky, a long column of people from all over the state marched out of capitol square and on to the downtown streets of Richmond.
For the most part they were quiet - no chanting or shouting. Monica Kooiman from Virginia Beach says it was a somber occasion. “We’re just grieved beyond words how the laws have changed this year,” said Kooiman.
With new majorities, Democrats are poised to roll back restrictions on abortion -- including a mandatory ultrasound, counseling, and 24- hour waiting period.
Janet Habel from Cumberland came to tell lawmakers she thinks that’s a mistake.
“I want them to know that abortion is murder,” said Habel.
Republican Delegate Kathy Byron spoke to the crowd, saying the anti-abortion cause faces serious challenge in Virginia.
“The task ahead of us to stand up and defend innocent human god given life will not be easy folks. But now with so much of the progress we have made reversed, we must stand stronger than ever,” said Byron to applause.
In the last decade, the number of abortions in Virginia has dropped dramatically.
Advocates of abortion rights say that’s a reflection of restrictive policies put in place under Republican leadership, and that women should have full access to healthcare, including abortion, without interference from lawmakers.