By: Morgan Smith

Texas lawmakers have made the state “a national leader in defending innocent life,” Gov. Greg Abbott told a crowd Saturday at an Austin anti-abortion rally.

“Because of you there is now an entire generation of women who see a sonogram as their baby’s first picture,” said Abbott, referencing a state law passed in 2011. He spoke on the south steps of the state Capitol.

The Rally for Life was organized by a coalition of anti-abortion and religious groups, including Texas Alliance for Life and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. The march marked the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Attendees gathered for a fair downtown and then marched to the Capitol, where state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, also addressed the crowd.

Attempts by lawmakers to fight abortion in Texas are nothing new, but the biggest changes for anti-abortion activists have come at the federal level. During the 45th Annual March For Life this month in Washington, Trump became the first sitting president to address the annual rally live via video, a move that excited anti-abortion Texans. That kind of attention has made Trump’s presidency especially popular in the anti-abortion movement.

“He has nominated judges who respect the Constitution as it’s written,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “We are very pleased with the work the president and the vice president have been doing.”