Area activists vocal as Roe v. Wade decision looms

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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STATELINE (WIFR) - Groups across the stateline hold rallies centered on abortion rights. With the pending Supreme Court decision on the landmark Roe v. Wade case, people on both sides of the debate want to make their voices heard.

People who are against abortion rights and those who support choice stood firm on their beliefs at both events. From Rockford to Freeport, rally cries and emotions filled gatherings focused on abortion rights.

In the Forest City, choice supporters gathered at the women’s suffrage plaza. They say the 1973 ruling should remain and their message is clear: “We won’t go back.”

“When one person isn’t free, no person is free. We need to protect the rights of all individuals. If we see anyone who is having their rights taken away, we all need to stand up to make sure those rights are restored,” says 19th District Representative Angela Fellars (D).

Some anti-abortion activists showed up at the Rockford rally and others gathered in freeport for the annual walk for life in Krape Park. They say people should think more about the children lost to abortion each year.

“They were just trying to talk to the people. Explain our position just trying to change their minds and explain to them what is going on. Trying to show them that these are children and not just clumps of cells,” says Rockford Family Initiative Youth Outreach Director Gus Bageanis.

If a leaked opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court stands, millions of women nationwide could lose access to abortion services and each state would decide if the procedures are legal within their boundaries.

“The decision to seek an abortion is profoundly personal. I also do understand the belief system on abortion is a profoundly personal decision. I would ask that those people against abortion would be for women,” says Fellars.

“That is a separate human being from a moment of conception. Based on it being a separate person you don’t have autonomy over another individual’s body that’s sort of saying where you can just remove their life,” says Bagaenis.

The outcome of this ruling will impact many states. Illinois wouldn’t be affected because of a decision by the state legislature in 2017 that secures legalized abortions.

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