AUSTIN (KXAN) – The 2023 Texas Rally for Life, hosted by Texas Alliance for Life, began at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Texas Capitol. This was the group’s first rally since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision and Senate Bill 8 went into effect in Texas.
Organizers of the rally said the event was meant to bring anti-abortion advocates, faith leaders and elected officials together to march in support of the right to life.
Governor Greg Abbott attended the event and was the keynote speaker. According to a statement, he said he expected thousands of anti-abortion Texans to join the rally.
In his remarks, Abbott praised Texas for outlawing abortions state wide but stressed that more support was needed for babies and mothers after birth.
“Texas already provides more than $100 million for the alternatives to abortion program that provides for the needs of women before birth and for up to three years after birth. We must redouble those efforts to protect both the mother and the child,” Abbott said.
Attendees met at 15th Street and Congress at 1 p.m. to march to the Capitol then rallied on the south side of the capitol until 3 p.m. An anti-abortion expo was also set to be held on Capitol grounds from 3-4 p.m. A release said the rally would end at 4 p.m.
“The Texas Rally for Life commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s tragic Roe v. Wade decision in January of 1973,” Abbott said.
Some attendees traveled hours to attend the rally.
Pedro Godoy of Houston rode by bus to the Capitol Saturday. Organizers of the rally say 33 buses from across the state carried people to the annual march.
“It’s illegalized. It’s a great thing. It’s a great start, but we’re not done yet,” Godoy said.
As anti-abortion activists push with their mission so do those advocating for access to abortions.
Frontera Fund is an abortion fund based in the Rio Grande Valley.
Before the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Frontera Fund helped locals acquire abortions – sometimes with funds directly for the procedure.
It is one of several abortion funds currently suing Attorney General Ken Paxton to restore that service.
Cathy Torres with Frontera Fund says the agency is continuing its mission in whatever legal capacities it can.
She says the organizations can still offer information to those seeking abortions as that same advice can be found in public spaces.
“It’s easy to get sad and feel defeated. But as long as we have each other, I feel like we really are going to continue to make the changes we’ve been making,” Torres said.
As abortion remains outlawed in Texas, those opposed to the procedure aim to keep it that way.
At the rally, numerous speakers advocated for keeping the ban as strict as possible – with no exceptions for instances of rape or incest.
A House Bill currently before lawmaker hopes to open restrictions in such cases. It’s fate to be decided this legislative session.