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Protesters gather in Grand Rapids as Supreme Court signals overturning Roe v. Wade

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Posted at 9:36 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 11:57:01-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hundreds gathered in downtown Grand Rapids Friday to support a woman's right to choose.

This protest comes in the wake of the Supreme Court draft opinion leak earlier this week.

That draft signals the court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Crowds filled both sides of the road outside the Kent County Courthouse.

The Socialist Alternative put the rally together to allow people to voice their opinions about their rights. Riley Frens, who attended, says she made the difficult personal decision just six weeks ago.

She says it's a choice she wants to make sure remains available to others in the same position.

"I have to come out here. I have to not only stand up for myself and for everybody else around me who is in the position where it can affect them," Alexis Marish said.

Marish and Frens were among the many out there to advocate for pro-choice.

Frens carried around a sign that said "I had an abortion fight me #TFMR."

RELATED: Supreme Court braces for abortion protests

"I think everyone should have the right to make a decision for their body and for their future child," Frens said.

She was also willing to share her story of an abortion that happened a little over a month ago.

"My baby was diagnosed with the Thanatophoric dysplasia and was given no quality of life or wasn't going to make it to term so we chose to terminate.

Frens admits her choice wasn't an easy one.

"We just wanted as little suffering from him as possible. That's all that was going through our minds is, 'How can I make sure that Teddy was never going to hurt?'" Frens told FOX 17.

Frens worries that other women out there might not get the same liberty she exercised not long ago.

"It is a decision that everyone deserves to be able to make for themselves. And I hate that women in the future might not have that choice," she said.

"Just have some empathy and what other people have to go through and not just what you think rather it's your religion or your morals. It's not all about you," Marish said.

FOX 17 reached out to the Grand Rapids Right to Life for a comment.

President Laura Alexandria sent us this statement:

"Grand Rapids Right to Life supports the right to peacefully protest. On the issue of the leaked SCOTUS brief, we will wait for the U.S. Supreme Court's official opinion. It is our fervent hope that the unjust Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973 is finally reversed so that unborn babies are protected and women experiencing an unplanned or difficult pregnancy are not exploited by abortion. Our organization has passionately fought to protect women and children for 50 years. Those who want the legal right to kill an unborn baby in the womb do not honor the dignity of the child. It's ironic that they claim to champion the rights of women when half of all babies aborted are little girls."

READ MORE: Abortion rights fight likely to be significant part of Michigan governor's race

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