RICHMOND, Virginia—Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, marched at the very head of Virginia’s first state March for Life post-Roe v. Wade, smiling broadly and chatting with pro-life Virginians around him.
“I believe that we are supposed to express our views and the March for Life is a way to express my view that Virginians elected a pro-life governor,” Youngkin told The Daily Signal as the march processed through the streets of Richmond. “And I think that this is an amazingly inspiring collection of people who have come out to stand for life.”
Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, pro-life activists believe that state demonstrations against abortion will play an important role in influencing lawmakers to enact pro-life legislation at the state level.
The March for Life will hold 11 more state marches this year, Jeanne Mancini, the organization’s president, told The Daily Signal. The next one will be in Arizona in February, then California and Connecticut.
Virginia’s attorney general, Jason Miyares, praised the pro-life Virginians gathered in Richmond during a rally before the state march. Miyares shared how one of his female relatives became pregnant at a young age and chose life, giving her son up to be adopted.
The Virginia March for Life was largely comprised of school-aged children, large families, parents, and clergy, both Catholic and Protestant, including Arlington’s Bishop Michael Burbidge. There did not appear to be any pro-abortion protesters at the Wednesday event.
Many of those present on Wednesday told The Daily Signal that they hope to see more pro-life laws enacted to protect the unborn in Virginia. As recently as last week, Virginia Democrats killed a proposed 15-week abortion ban that would have prevented aborting babies capable of feeling pain.
That bill was supported by Youngkin.
“Just days after unveiling a constitutional amendment that endorses abortion at any point during the pregnancy, including when a baby feels pain all the way up until the moment of birth, Senate Democrats solidified their extreme position this morning,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement to a local Virginia outlet at the time.
Youngkin also addressed protesters who have been demonstrating outside the homes of the Supreme Court justices since the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned.
“I very much disagree with the fact that Attorney General [Merrick] Garland allows that to happen,” he said, referring to Garland’s failure to enforce 18 U.S. Code 1507.
“We are supportive of a bill in our legislature to not allow that to happen,” Youngkin said. “I have such deep respect for our justices. People should not be allowed to protest at their homes. The state police has been working consistently in order to make sure that we are supporting local law enforcement to keep everyone safe.”
“I know that Justice [Amy Coney] Barrett appreciates it,” he added, “because it’s a good thing.”
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