RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Speaking at an annual anti-abortion rally and march in Richmond, Republican Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said Wednesday that he opposes the idea that women should be prosecuted for seeking abortions.

“The pro-life message is one of compassion. And there have been some voices in this country saying we should prosecute women who make the decision to have an abortion. That is not right,” he said.

Miyares said the anti-abortion movement should instead focus on backing the work of charities that support struggling mothers.

The attorney general was one of several speakers at Wednesday’s “Virginia March for Life,” the first time the annual event has taken place since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

A crowd of around 1,500 attendees, according to Capitol Police, rallied on Capitol Square for the series of speeches before marching peacefully through adjacent streets. Speakers celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision and exhorted attendees to mobilize and press their elected officials to do more to restrict abortion in Virginia, which has some of the South’s most permissive laws.

“Today is our chance to make our voices heard and for them to see that this matters to Virginians. And to get a picture that we are the kinds of people that are going to show up, and we’re going to take this issue all the way to the ballot box,” said Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia