With the conversation from the speakers at the rally mainly highlighting the need to elect pro-life candidates, at least one pro-life Democrat was at the march.
Craig Rew, from Short Pump, was clad in a pro-life Democrat hat and was toting a Democrats for Life of America sign. He told CNA that he was at the march “to show that there are pro-life Democrats.”
Rew explained that he believed that “life is a progressive idea,” and that “abortion is not the solution to any problems.”
Abortion, he said, “is the problem.”
Hannah Clarke of Richmond came to the march along with her church, Staples Mill Road Baptist Church, and her nearly-four-month-old baby. She told CNA that while she had long considered herself to be pro-life, the experience of becoming a mother made her even more so.
“What better reason to fight for life now that I have my own? I’m even more pro-life now that I have a baby. I didn't know if that was possible,” said Clarke.
For Clarke, her pro-life beliefs are rooted in both faith and reason.
“The root of the issue is that [those in favor of abortion] don't mind killing babies because they don't see them as human,” she said. “And that's where we need to get back to science. Like you don't even have to argue it from a religious standpoint, if you don't want to. The majority of scientists agree that life begins at conception.”
She said it was particularly challenging to see the reaction to the law recently enacted in Texas.
“I just want everyone, regardless of their faith, or lack thereof, to realize you're just laughing in the face of science and damaging people more than more than they realize,” she said.
Adulthood and motherhood reinforcing pro-life beliefs was a common theme among the attendees CNA spoke to.
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“I was always pro-life--my family was pro-life--but I think that it really came home for me as an adult,” Liz Ferraro, from King George, Va., told CNA. “When you learn how gruesome abortion is, when you learn what it is, and you learn what it looks like, and how it ends a human life.”
Abortion, she said, “is not just a choice, it’s a person.”
The experience of having her own children, and “seeing the sonograms when they’re only six weeks old” with their “little nubs” for limbs, helped cement her views.
“It’s just unbelievable that (people think) it’s okay to murder them,” said Ferraro.
The Virginia March for Life is one of several state-specific marches this year. With the Supreme Court considering Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which will decide the constitutionality of pre-viability restrictions on abortion, abortion could once again become an issue to be decided by states.
For Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, this represents an opportunity for the pro-life movement. In recent years, even prior to knowing that the Supreme Court would be considering Dobbs, the March for Life has focused on certain states to drum up pro-life support.