Thousands Gather on Fourth of July for Protest Following Overturning of Roe V. Wade

Thousands of people from across the State of Michigan came together on the capitol building lawn, in Lansing, protesting reproductive rights on the Fourth of July.

Protestors On The LawnSheryl Mase, originally from Cadillac, made the trip on the holiday because she believes independence is at risk for vulnerable populations.

“That’s what compelled me to come today,” Mase says. “There is no independence for women.”

Mase was born in 1957. She remembers the marches for civil rights and Martin Luther King Jr. speaking across the country. Her family went to those rallies.

Mase also remembers the year 1973, when the ruling was made on Roe v. Wade. To be protesting nearly 50 years later, after the Supreme Court’s latest decision on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, she says, “makes my stomach sick.”

Austin Wolters and Allison May drove from Grand Rapids to attend the event.

Wolters says he is there for the women in his life that couldn’t be there.

“I feel it’s the least that I can do for them to come out here and use their voice while they are not here so they can speak through me,” he says. “Girl power is the only power in my opinion.”

May says the protest isn’t just for women but for everyone’s right to reproductive health.

“I’m here to protect my rights, to protect the rights of my friends, family members, etc.” She says. “It’s not just the right to have an abortion it’s the right to choose reproductive healthcare options, decisions and other precedents Roe v. Wade set forth.”

DemonstrationMay adds that she also protests for all those who have been disenfranchised and for everyone to have their rights protected.

“It just makes me frustrated that there were so little people deciding that myself or my peers can have rights to choose what is the best option for them,” she adds.

Nearly 2,000 people responded to the Facebook event, organizing a rally for reproductive rights on Independence Day. The protest was meant to be peaceful though shortly after the city’s Fourth of July parade started, a group of protestors blocked the parade route on Capitol Avenue.

People blocking the road forced the parade to reroute, as protestors shouted “forced procreation, no celebration,” carrying a large banner with the words written in red.

The parade was rerouted but shortly after doing so, protestors began walking in the middle of the parade, blocking cars and floats on West Allegan Street. Law enforcement were there to intervene.

The organizer for the rally says there were no plans to block the festivities. The parade ended not even making it a full block when protestors took over the route.