Capitol Square and surrounding streets in Downtown Richmond were the site of the 5th Annual March for Life on February 1. Reflecting a new political landscape, this was the first time this event occurred since the US Supreme Court last June struck-down the 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion. As explained here, the high court’s action returned the abortion issue to the voters of each state and their elected officials. Event organizers claim some 3,000-4,000 supporters attended. There were no reports of pro-abortion protestors or hecklers present.
Pro-life Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) made history at the 2022 March when, as a newly-inaugurated governor, he became Virginia’s first chief executive to attend the March for Life. Since he attended again yesterday, he now holds the record as the first Virginia governor to attend multiple times.
Speaking to a reporter from The Daily Signal, Youngkin remarked: “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. And I think that this is an amazingly inspiring collection of people who have come out to stand for life.”
Observing the diversity of March participants, the governor said: “This is a great statement by a lot of people, young people, older people, folks from all walks of life, to demonstrate the fact that we stand to protect life. I’m just so encouraged by it, so thank you, everybody.”
In addition to making a statement for the sanctity of life, Gov. Youngkin also addressed the issue of protestors illegally demonstrating outside the personal homes of some US Supreme Court justices. Instead of enforcing 18 U.S. Code 1507 as is his responsibility, the Biden Administration’s Attorney General Merrick Garland has turned a blind eye and not stopped the protests. Since the US Supreme Court sits in Washington, its nine justices live in either suburban Maryland or Virginia.
“I very much disagree with the fact that Attorney General Garland allows that to happen,” he said, referring to Garland’s failure to enforce the law to protect the justices.
“We are supportive of a bill in our legislature to not allow that to happen. I have such deep respect for our justices. People should not be allowed to protest at their homes. The state police have been working consistently in order to make sure that we are supporting local law enforcement to keep everyone safe.”
Attorney General Jason Miyares, whose team recently released the bombshell report outlining the illegality of the former state parole board in early 2020, attended the rally as well and remarked “Life is beautiful.”
Victoria Cobb, President of the non-partisan Family Foundation of Virginia, commented: “Seven months ago pro-lifers celebrated as the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, but they recognize there is still much work to be done on the state level, especially here in Virginia. Today, Virginians rallied to show their legislators that Virginia is for life, that Virginians want a commonwealth that supports women and the pre-born.”
Although the March for Life was held in Richmond, its cause is a popular one in Central and Southwest Virginia as evidenced by the region’s voting habits. The three Congressmen representing the western-half of the state…Republicans Cline, Griffith, and Good…all have solid pro-life voting records. Moreover, the pro-life ticket of Youngkin/Sears/Miyares carried Roanoke County in 2021 by about a 2 to 1 margin, and other counties in the area by even more lopsided margins.
Despite the Old Dominion now having pro-life leadership in the Executive Branch and House of Delegates, the State Senate has a 22-18 Democrat majority that has pledged to be a “brick wall” toward pro-life legislation.
On January 23, the week before the March for Life, a sub-committee of the State Senate Health and Education Committee killed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That bill would provide protection to pre-born babies who are old enough to feel pain in the womb after 15 weeks, the stage of development at which science shows unborn children can feel pain. The bill is patroned in the Virginia Senate by Sen. Steve Newman, (R-Lynchburg) and in the House of Delegates by Del. Kathy Byron, (R-Bedford).
One of the votes to kill the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was from Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), who has a decades-long pro-abortion voting record.
The Roanoke Valley is set to be center-stage for a high-profile, high-dollar election this coming November with potentially statewide consequences. Redistricting will dissolve the grossly-gerrymandered district that Sen. Edwards has represented for years and place him in the same district with pro-life Sen. David Suetterlein (R). The two legislators are slated to square off in a new Senate district that will encompass Democrat-leaning Roanoke City, GOP-leaning Salem, most of Roanoke County, and parts of Eastern Montgomery County.