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Virginia student group celebrates Roe's reversal: 'I felt so much joy'

Sanctafamilia: 'We can do so much more to advocate for people who are vulnerable and unborn'
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Posted at 10:05 AM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 10:05:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Reaction across the country and in Central Virginia continues a day after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe. V. Wade, which had provided a constitutional right to abortion.

People continued to gather at the Virginia State Capitol Saturday to make their voices heard in the wake of the ruling.

The Virginia Students for Life of America chapters gathered initially in front of Capitol Square for a Life is Louder rally, but the group opted to move the rally to in front of City Hall for more interaction with the community.

Organizers planned the event to celebrate what they called the most historic moment the pro-life movement has witnessed in 50 years, according to the event page.

The Richmond rally was one of many events hosted by chapters of the organization taking place across the country Saturday.

Therese Sanctafamilia, president of the Virginia chapter of Students for Life of America
Therese Sanctafamilia, president of the Virginia chapter of Students for Life of America

RELATED: Roe v. Wade is overturned — what does that mean in Virginia?

Therese Sanctafamilia, the president of the Richmond chapter who coordinated the Virginia event, brought signs for folks to hold and chalk to write pro-life messages on public sidewalks.

“Hearing the decision, I felt so much joy. I wanted to cry," Sanctafamilia said. "This means we can do so much more to advocate for people who are vulnerable and unborn."

Sanctafamilia led the group of around 15 people through chants and cheers like, “Pro-choice that’s a lie — babies never choose to die” and, “We are the post-Roe generation and we will abolish abortion."

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Sanctafamilia was joined by chapters who traveled from different schools across the state like Virginia Tech.

Anna Johnson, the president of Students for Life Virginia Tech, said it is important for people who are opposed to abortion to be the face of the post-Roe world.

“The pro-life generation is not dying away," she explained. "The pro-life generation is young, we’re diverse and we are energetic."

The group also promoted resources for women in hopes of preventing abortions. The students said they hope Virginia will become a state where abortion is banned.

While the group received honks in support along Broad Street, one man took issue with the group and stopped his car in the middle of the street. He got out and yelled at one man with the group.

Organizers said they hope high court's decision will put an end to harassment and threats across the country.

“You can completely disagree with our stance, but the important thing is we talk to each other in a kind and compassionate way,” Sanctafamilia said.

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RELATED: Hundreds march in Richmond after Roe v. Wade ruling

Hundreds of people gathered outside Richmond City Hall Friday night in support of abortion-rights.

Members of the crowd, who marched in the streets and shared personal stories, were adamant they will fight to keep abortions legal in Virginia.

That rally was hosted by Planned Parenthood. Another rally was scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol.

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