GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Friday in Grand Rapids, more than 100 people protested the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. Demonstrations turned into marches downtown, as people expressed their frustration and disappointment with the ruling.
Two different protests eventually merged into one. One demonstration started at Monument Park, where one volunteer aimed to collect signatures to get reproductive rights on the November ballot.
"Generally it protects all of our rights to reproductive freedom regarding pregnancy," Jan Gwasdachus says. "That includes birth control, sterilization, infertility, miscarriage management, prenatal care, postnatal care, and abortion."
Another protest began at Rosa Parks Circle before both groups found each other while marching.
"I came out today because abortion is the human right. It is healthcare," Olivia Rodriguez says. "It felt invigorating to see so many elderly people, babies, men, everybody, like you could feel the support but also the hopelessness that was kind of turned into like power."
And on the other side, some are excited about the decision. Citizens to Support Michigan Women and Children spokesperson Christen Pollo says this is a personal day for her because her mom faced a tough decision while pregnant.
"To have Roe v. Wade overturned, returning the decision on abortion back to the states and to voters is a great victory," she says. "Thankfully, a pregnancy center came alongside her and supported her with resources and love and care. And because of that, she had the courage to choose life. And I wouldn't be here today, if it wasn't for my mom's courageous decision."
More demonstrations are expected this weekend.
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