AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Every January 12, the Maine Right to Life organizes pro-choice rally Hands Around the Capitol to mark the Roe v. Wade decision about a woman's right to abortion.
Organizers say 40 years after that landmark court case, their pro-life message remains unchanged.
"We're looking forward to the day in which we will all gather in celebration when Roe v. Wade is overturned, but today unfortunately is not that day," said Teresa McCann-Tumidajski, Executive Director of Maine Right to Life.
Instead, they marked the 40th anniversary by holding a rally and demonstration in Augusta.
Hundreds from across the state listened to pro-life speakers, then marched to the State House to ring the Capitol Bell 40 times.
Demonstrators joined hands around the State House for the duration of the chimes.
Pro-life supporter Gov. Paul LePage was expected to attend, but cancelled due to the flu, according to McCann-Tumidajski.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England released the following statement:
"Planned Parenthood of Northern New England acknowledges today's event at the state Capitol with mixed feelings.
"While of course we respect people's religious beliefs and understand they are free to express those beliefs, state property is not the appropriate place for religious events.
"It's also inappropriate for them to judge women for their personal and private health care decisions. Women are allowed to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, and she is the one to decide, with her family, partner, and religious leader if she has one, whether to end her pregnancy or continue it. It is not for any of us to judge her decision.
"Although more Americans now self-define as "pro-life," a larger majority believe in the tenets of Roe v Wade and agree abortion should remain safe and legal.
"Although there are people who oppose abortion on religious, moral, or other grounds, abortion is a Constitutionally protected part of health care, and protesters at our health centers or the Capitol will not change that."