RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Nearly 200 pro-choice advocates celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion, during a rally Tuesday at the Capitol Bell Tower in Richmond.
Several speakers, including state legislators, Catholics for Choice and former Virginia Health Commission Dr. Karen Remley, addressed the crowd.
Much of Tuesday's rally focused on abortion, but Dr. Remley said underneath it all Roe vs. Wade was more about the progression of gender equality and protecting women's health.
"I believe in the Constitution of the United States, I believe the Bill of Rights, I believe the government you have through democracy to work," Remley said. "I embrace and I'm engaged in that process. But when individuals overreach their authorities and step over the lines in what's appropriate for democracy is time for us to step forward and say something."
Nearby, a group of pro-life advocates held their own demonstration. Nearly two dozen strong, they were ready with signs and opinions of their own as to why they hope to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
"You know when you see those little babies cringing away from the needles and scalpel, they are in there," said pro-life advocate Mary Mann. "They are not making this up, they are fully formed, their fingernails, their eyes--they have eyelids--they feel it."
Today most states have some kind of law in place affecting access to abortions. Here in Virginia last year several abortion bills were passed -- including the abortion clinic regulations and the mandatory ultrasound law.