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Hundreds protest in Detroit after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Briana Rice
Michigan Radio
People gathered in Downtown Detroit to protest the Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to an abortion.

Detroiters joined people across the country protesting the Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

People marched through downtown Detroit carrying megaphones, picket signs, and banners, with messages like, "Keep your theology off my biology."

Nakia Wallace co-founded the nonprofit Detroit Will Breathe. She was one of the speakers at the rally.

"The only way we defend not only our right to abortion and healthcare, but our right to gay marriage, our right to water, our right to decent housing, our right to everything, is the same way we won it: in the streets," she said.

At one point, protesters briefly blocked the entrance to the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and walked through several city blocks across Downtown.

82-year-old Diane Feeley was one of the speakers. She was involved in the abortion-rights fight before Roe v. Wade.

"We believe that those who are pregnant should have the right to decide their future," she told the crowd.

Organizers are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion rights in Michigan’s constitution.

If they get enough signatures, the initiative will be on the ballot in November.

There was another protest in Detroit at the same time at Palmer Park.

Several Democratic Michigan officials attended including Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Representative Rashida Tlaib, Senator Erika Geiss and Senator Stephanie Chang.

Colin Jackson
Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at an abortion rights rally in Lansing on Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and dismantled federal protections for abortion rights.

Organizers encouraged people to keep rallying in the streets, vote in upcoming elections, and call on legislators to make Michigan a sanctuary state for abortion.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made similar calls for action at a rally on the Michigan Capitol lawn, urging people there to vote for pro-choice candidates and support the petition to put abortion rights into the Michigan constitution.

At a rival protest down the street at the state's Hall of Justice, abortion rights opponents celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling.

Michigan Public Radio Network's Colin Jackson contributed reporting.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
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