LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Hundreds gathered at the state Capitol for a rally in support of abortion access.
The demonstration was one of dozens being staged around the country after a leaked draft memo suggests a U.S. Supreme Court may overturn the iconic Roe v. Wade case.
People came from all around the state to make sure their concerns were heard by lawmakers.
One advocate said she was there to stand up for other women who could lose access to safe abortion procedures.
“I actually work at child and family services so we know a lot of, you know, very young women, ages thirteen to sixteen who have been denied health care throughout their entire lives. You know, who have been put into very difficult and financially debilitating positions because of it,” said Kira Billard.
Billard was one of the hundreds of Michiganders who stood in the cold and misty Tuesday evening, hearing from activists from Planned Parenthood Michigan and lawmakers working to protect abortion access in the state.
Some speeches drew chants from the crowds, others nearly left people in tears. As the rally went on, the group was joined by a small band of anti-abortion counter-protesters.
A woman with Protect Life Michigan said she wanted to make sure their stance was heard as well.
“If they’re going to be here defending abortion, what we know takes a human life, we’re going to be here to show them what they are defending, you know, we’re going to be showing them what abortion looks like and we’re going to be the voice for the voiceless,” said Audrey Whipple, a Protect Life Michigan counter-protestor.
The rally became heated to the point where organizers had to intervene and call for the groups on both sides of the issue to separate. As the rally came to an end, dozens of pro-choice advocates stayed to lead their own chants in front of the capitol.
“We have to do something. We have to fix this once and for all, we can’t keep re-negotiating and re-litigating something that was handled 50 years ago,” said Karen Dunnal.
One organizer said Tuesday’s rally was put together just hours after news of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion.
They said more protests are to come with one planned later in May at the University of Michigan.