Virginia abortion legislation protested

(Photo courtesy Abbybatcherelder via Flickr)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of women stood mute, arm-in-arm, forming a human cordon through which legislators walked before Monday's floor sessions to protest a wave of anti-abortion legislation coursing through the 2012 General Assembly.

Capitol and state police officers, there to ensure order, estimated the crowd to be more than 1,000 people - mostly women, some men.

The protest was over bills that would define embryos as humans and criminalize their destruction, require "transvaginal" ultrasounds of women seeking abortions and cutting state aid to poor women seeking abortions.

Participants said they learned of it through Facebook and social media. None carried posters.

Few spoke, even when spoken to. Messages on shirts conveyed the message. Richmonder Molly Vick's shirt read "Say no to state mandated rape."