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'Forced procreation, no celebration:' Abortion rights supporters disrupt Lansing's July 4 parade

Lansing protestors2.jpg

Chants of "forced procreation, no celebration" rang out in downtown Lansing late Monday morning when what began as a small group of people broke off from an abortion rights rally on the state Capitol lawn, unfurled a banner, and formed a line blocking the city's Independence Day parade.

City officials attempted to reroute the July Fourth procession, but a few parade vehicles were mostly overshadowed by the hundreds of abortion rights supporters who eventually joined the march.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says he supports the right to protest but was "disappointed" when some people strayed from what organizers had billed as a rally confined to the Capitol lawn. At least one organizer of a Facebook event for the rally posted beforehand that protestors should not block or otherwise interfere with the parade's route.

"It was nonviolent, and that's good," Schor said in an interview with WKAR. "I'm certainly disappointed that people of Lansing and the area didn't get to enjoy the parade fully, but we're the capitol city and we expect protests."

The demonstration comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning a constitutional right to abortion last month.

An order from Michigan's Court of Claims is temporarily blocking enforcement of a long-dormant 1931 state law that bans abortions unless they're done to save a pregnant person's life.