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

“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 Texas 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.

Abbott praised a series of laws the state has passed in recent years, including 2011 legislation requiring doctors to perform a sonogram, make the heartbeat of the fetus audible and show images of the fetus to women at least 24 hours before they obtain an abortion.

In 2017, Abbott signed bills requiring a woman to pay a separate health insurance premium to get coverage for non-emergency abortions and banning second trimester dilation and evacuation abortions. A bill requiring health providers to bury or cremate remains from abortions remains tied up in court.

“I will always fight for life as your governor,” Abbott told the crowd, “and I will ensure that every child in Texas has a chance at life.”

The rally comes a week after thousands in Texas marched in support of women’s rights and to protest President Donald Trump.

Check out videos from the rally below:

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Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in...