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Glenn YoungkinPhoto by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — Virginia’s governor took part in the state’s fourth March for Life yesterday, a historic first for state leadership across the country.  

Though state governors have attended the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) is the first to participate in an official pro-life march for a state    

The second major pro-life event held at the capitol of Richmond in only two months, the Virginia March for Life included the participation of multiple pro-life officials and elected leaders. The March was organized to coincide with Virginia’s Veto Day, ensuring legislators from across the state would be on Capitol Hill. Approximately 500 people took part. 

Speakers at the rally, situated at Richmond’s historic bell tower in the hour preceding the march, included Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears (R); Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpepper); Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund; and Olivia Gans Turner, the president of the Virginia Society for Human Life. Adoption advocates and women who regret their abortions shared testimony.  

In her speech, Sears emphasized the message of life from conception until death found in sacred scripture and argued that each generation needs to be convinced of its responsibility to protect human life.  

“We can’t be cowardly in what we’re doing because the other side is not cowardly, and we know we have right on our side,” Sears said.

“And so we will go, and we will stay on the battlefield, and we can’t ever leave because all it takes is one more vote… When we talk about life, we have to keep winning.” 

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears

Freitas, sponsor of House Bill 304, which is also called the Born Alive Act, described the ignorance shown by the abortion industry who fought his legislation to require basic medical care for infants who survive an abortion. 

“When I carried the Born Alive Act and we were … presenting it before the Senate, we actually had a victim of a saline abortion, someone who had survived that, get up and provide her testimony,” he said.

“And, immediately following, a Planned Parenthood [representative] got up and said that my bill was a ‘solution in search of a problem.’”  

Freitas added that his own mother had chosen life for him during a crisis pregnancy.  

“The reason why all of us are here today is not just because we want to save that child. It’s because we want to save that child, we want to save that mother, we want to save that family,” he declared.

“When all of us understand that a core fundamental issue is that humanity is not a grant of government; it is a gift from God, and because of that there is no amount of bribery, there is no amount of temptation, there is no amount of intimidation, and there is no threat that will ever stop us from defending that innocent human life.” 

Del. Nick Freitas

Alveda King emphasized how crucial votes are in the upcoming elections as “our faith, our freedom, our families, our finances,[and] our health” hang in the balance. 

“We are all united together joining with our leaders doing our part because we all have a part,” King said. “We’ve been on the long road home, and there’ve been many tears, but now we’re in occupation, and now we’re moving ahead.” 

Dr. Alveda King

An outspoken pro-life advocate, Youngkin is the first governor in years to campaign for life in the Commonwealth. However, though several pro-life bills were introduced in the first legislative session of 2022, few reached his desk after being voted down in the state’s pro-abortion majority Senate.  

A bill that would require basic care for an infant who survived an abortion was initially pocketed by Senate leadership to avoid a vote and potential passage. 

 As states look to the Supreme Court for a final ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, legislators are increasingly focused on determining the availability and legality of abortion in their own states. A growing number of states have responded to the case by organizing and increasing local pro-life rallies and marches.