Walking along the outskirts of the Michigan Capitol building, hundreds of anti-abortion supporters and activists joined together in a “March for Life" rally, hosted and organized by Michigan Right to Life, at noon yesterday.
Along with Michigan Right to Life, dozens of organizations like Protect Life Michigan and Project Rachel, numerous schools and people of all ages were in attendance to garner support for anti-abortion policies.
The rally was arranged to be held a year after the 2022 Ballot Proposal 3, or the Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative, which placed the right to abortion care into Michigan constitutional law, was passed. Earlier Wednesday morning, Right to Life filed a lawsuit against Proposal 3, arguing that the abortion access violates federal constitutional rights.
Signs held by activists and supporters contained both opinionated, faith-based and political writings, including “Stop the Reproductive Health Act,” "Love life," "Choose life,” “Pray for the babies” and “RHA harms women.”
Lansing resident Trevor Pollo is a member of Protect Life Michigan, an organization that works with high school and college students to lead them in discussions about “varying ends” of the spectrum of abortion issues.
Pollo said fighting abortion is “important every day” but especially around election time, when anti-abortion supporters should raise awareness even more.
“We’re here making sure that there’s a voice for the victims of abortion and the unborn children and their mothers, standing up for their right and the belief that all humans deserve to be treated without violence,” Pollo said. “Every day there are lives on the line. If we really believe in human equality and human rights, then that should extend to all humans, including those that are in the womb.”
Some supporters attended the rally to promote organizations that have helped women before, during, and after having an abortion. However, they remained against abortion.
Oakland County resident Bethany Stoltenberg arrived at the rally passionate about reproductive issues and abortion rights, but unaware of the programs that women can be a part of while contemplating getting an abortion.
Stoltenberg said there are “lots of programs” for women all over the county, state and country for “supporting women going through” thoughts of abortion, “women deciding” whether or not to do it, “after the abortion” or for those generally “wanting to get help.” To Stoltenberg, these are extremely important aspects of the issue that a lot of women don’t know, including her.
“(Women should) see and hear about the resources you don’t know are there,” Stoltenberg said. “Find out in your community and other communities around Michigan and all around the country how much support there actually is that you don't know about.”
While some supporters might have been on the fence about which "side" they agreed with, there were plenty of people devoted to and emotional about ending abortions, including Oakland County resident Jim Wilson.
Wilson is a part of multiple anti-abortion organizations and carried anti-abortion signs throughout the rally. To him, being loud and proud about fighting abortion is essential for Lansing residents.
“It’s important for us to be here so that the people in Lansing know that there’s a very strong voice still in Michigan that believes that we really have to protect life from the beginning of conception until natural death,” Wilson said. “We need to recognize the dignity of life; we lose a part of our soul when we don’t respect every part of our humanity, even the unborn.”
Wilson believes this issue is never really going to “go away” because it has consistently been prevalent in society for the past half-century. But in the history of abortion and reproductive rights, he said, he doesn’t want to be on the "wrong side" of the topic.
“Do you want to live in a world where we actually are murdering all of these unborn children?” Wilson said. “History is going to look back at this age and judge us all so what side do you want to be on?”
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