About 50 people gathered this morning to march around the Capitol and oppose state legislators' attempts to pass anti-abortion bills and personhood legislation during the current session.
Demonstrators marched from Smith Park and around the Capitol, carrying signs with messages such as "No means no," "It's 2012, not 1812" and "Men of quality stand for women's equality."
Jennifer James drove three hours from Hernando with her 13-year-old daughter, Kayla, to be at the march. Jennifer said she doesn't want her daughter to have fewer rights than she had.
"I want her to have access to IVF or birth control and, God forbid, abortion, if she finds she needs it," she said.
Atlee Breland, founder of Parents Against Personhood, said her organization does not officially oppose any of the anti-abortion bills in the Legislature right now since all the personhood resolutions are dead, but they are concerned about language in HB 1196, the "fetal heartbeat bill," that says an "unborn human individual" exists beginning at fertilization.
Breland is also opposing personhood legislation and initiatives in other states.
"We think that personhood laws are a huge part of the war on not just women, but the war on families," she said. "Personhood laws are fundamentally anti-family, because they threaten families' access to medical care that helps them become families, and to birth control that helps them plan families at the responsible time, and to medical care for women suffering from complications of building a family."
Lori Gregory Garrott, one of the organizers of the march, said they chose this date because the Legislature is still in session. Another march is planned for April 28, when a national organization called Unite Women is organizing events around the country to denounce what they call the "war on women."
"It'll be in tandem with every other capital, and a march on Washington," Garrott said. "We're actually kind of doing this one as an awareness (campaign) and we're handing out 'save-the-date' stuff for that one. We think it'll be more well-attended because it's on a Saturday."
See video from the march at the Capitol below.