ANNAPOLIS -- Chanting "Pro-Choice Teen-Choice" and "one-four-six," abortion rights advocates gathered in front of the State House last night to show their support of Senate Bill 146, which seeks to preserve the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision.
Annapolis police estimated the crowd at 1,200 people. But Bea Poulin, the executive director of Marylanders for the Right to Choose, which organized the rally, said that about 3,000 supporters made the march from the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to a grassy area across from the State House.
As the marchers approached, chanting and waving signs, a small group of abortion opponents, holding banners and signs, watched quietly from a nearby corner.
Speakers at the rally decried any bill that sought to limit a woman's right to an abortion and urged supporters to make their views known to state legislators.
"You can't let up. Do not believe that it's all over," said Sen. Janice Piccinini, D-Baltimore County.
"I will fight valiantly, but I want you fighting with me, and we will win," she said.
Sen. F. Vernon Boozer, R-Baltimore County, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 146, told the crowd they had "a very, very difficult fight ahead" to win passage of "a clean bill" that ensured abortion rights.
As the rally wound down, several in the crowd circulated with white trash bags to collect donations. Others went off to the State House in search of their legislators.
And a recording of Bob Dylan singing "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin' " played over the public address system set up for the rally.