Reaction from legislators varied, largely based on party affiliation.
"God bless y'all. You're doing the right thing," Del. Algie T. Howell, D-Norfolk, said as he walked past the unspeaking throng.
Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, acknowledged it was "an impressive crowd."
"So there's opposition to this measure. So what's new about that?" said Marshall, the sponsor of the "personhood" legislation that could outlaw all abortions and, critics claim, some forms of contraception in Virginia if the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion is reversed. The bill passed the House on a vote of 66-32 and is pending before the Senate Education and Health Committee.
Both chambers have passed legislation that would force women seeking abortions to first undergo an ultrasound examination to determine a gestational age for the fetus. In the procedure, a wand-like device is inserted and used to send out sound waves.
Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, a socially conservative Catholic, has said he will sign the ultrasound bill, but has taken no position on Marshall's personhood bill, a spokesman said last week.
At Monday's protest, the ultrasound bill provoked more scorn than Marshall's.
"My decision to come here today is based on the fact that what states do impacts the rest of the nation," said Carole Lewis-Anderson, who traveled snow-covered roads from Washington, D.C., for the Presidents Day event. "To be able to intrude into a woman's body by law? That's beyond belief!"