"We've seen unprecedented numbers of people showing up. This has to do with how severe these restrictions are. So we have people coming over and over again to register their opposition," says Heather Busby from the Texas arm of NARAL Pro-Choice America, which is participating in the march.
The proposed restrictions would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, as well as require all abortions be performed at ambulatory surgical centers and that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Critics charge the restrictions could close down abortion clinics across the state.
The new restrictions were to become law weeks ago but were blocked by a nearly 13-hour filibuster by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, as well as by thousands of protesters crowding the Capitol who drowned out state senators' voting. Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, branded the protesters at the time as "mob rule."
While Busby acknowledges the charged atmosphere of the protests, she claims the anti-abortion side has blown reports of abortion rights activism out of proportion.
"There was one person, a college student, who made a snarky comment of 'Hail Satan.' That was one person. Literally," she says. Busby also noted that reports that people wore coat hangers covered in blood was "a lie." The protests have brought emotion, and also some confusion for both sides. Abortion rights activists say they have plans to launch a "Let Texas Speak" petition - an accidental use of the same name as the anti-abortion prayer group.