Richmond, Va., Apr 3, 2019 / 15:06 pm
A crowd of thousands took to the streets of Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday to participate in Virginia’s first statewide March for Life.
Speakers at the rally included March for Life President Jeanne Mancini, Virginia Society for Human Life President Olivia Gans Turner, Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation, adoption activist and speaker Ryan Bomberger, abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, and Felicia Pricenor, associate director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.
Ohden was born at about 31 weeks of gestation, following her teenage mother’s attempted saline abortion. She told the crowd that her life was saved by a nurse who was “unwilling to just leave me to die” after the abortion failed.
While the National March for Life is officially a bipartisan affair, featuring speakers from both parties, Wednesday’s event also took a partisan tone, as speakers repeatedly criticized Virginia’s Democratic leadership at the pre-march rally on the steps of the state capitol building.
Republican members of the state House of Delegates and Senate appeared during the rally, which featured surprise speeches from State Speaker of the House Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and State Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Stephen Newman (R).
In November, every member of the state’s House of Delegates and Senate is up for reelection. Virginia has been described as a “test case” to see how abortion will impact elections.
During the pre-march rally, the crowd cheered when speakers criticized Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and efforts by Demcorats to expand abortion laws in the state.
Most of the marchers CNA spoke with were at their first-ever pro-life rally, and nearly all cited their opposition to Northam as for why they decided to march. Police told CNA they estimated the crowd to be about 6,500.