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Abortion rights supporters protest across Michigan and the USA in support of keeping Roe v. Wade
Jodi Westrick | Michigan Radio
Protestors for and against legal abortions clash in Ann Arbor

Abortion rights supporters demonstrated at hundreds of marches and rallies across the country and in Michigan. They're expressing their outrage that the Supreme Court may soon scrap the constitutional right to abortion that has endured for nearly a half-century.

And they're expressing their fear about what that could mean for women's reproductive choices.

Incensed after a leaked draft opinion suggested the court's conservative majority would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, activists spoke of the need to mobilize quickly because Republican-led states are poised to enact tighter restrictions.

A large crowd rallied in Ann Arbor on the University of Michigan campus.

Jodi Westrick | Michigan Radio
Cori Carr and her 13-year-old daughter, Charlotte, hold signs at a protest on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus May 14, 2022

Cori Carr was there with her 13-year-old daughter. Carr wants her daughter to understand her fight for reproductive rights.

"My grandmother and my mother fought for this. It's a generational battle and I want her to be empowered to take action as well," Carr said.

A smaller group opposed to abortion held signs and chanted behind the crowd.

In Detroit, protesters gathered in front of the federal courthouse and marched through downtown streets in favor of abortion rights.

Lyndsey Sleek-Ristich was there with her mother and toddler daughter. She said she has a lot of fears if Roe falls.

“For my daughter. For her future. And the future of her two siblings who are frozen in a test tube right now," Sleek-Ristich said. "So I’m kind of scared and pissed, and fighting for her future and the future of those embryos.”

Thalia Reyes was also at the Detroit rally with her sisters and two young daughters. She said she’s both furious and scared about the possibility of abortion becoming illegal.

“I’m scared that they’re taking everything from me and my girls, and we have to do something," Reyes said. "This is not right. Nobody should tell us how to live our life, and what happens to our bodies. It’s our choice.”

If Roe falls, Michigan has a Depression-era law that criminalizes abortion in nearly all cases on the books.

There are some ongoing efforts to get rid of that law, including a petition drive to change the state constitution. Advocates were gathering petition signatures for that at the Detroit rally.

In the nation's capital, thousands gathered at the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, which is now surrounded by two layers of security fences.

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007. In his years leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team has won scores of national, regional and state awards including Murrow Awards, Sigma Delta Chi awards, a duPont award and others.