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Hoosiers flood downtown Indy for protests, rallies over abortion ruling

Hoosiers on both sides of the issue let Indiana political leaders know what they thought about Friday's landmark ruling during a series of demonstrations Saturday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights protests are happening across the country, including right in Indianapolis. 

Saturday, people on both sides of the issue let Indiana political leaders know what they thought about Friday's landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.

And, the protests got heated in downtown Indianapolis.

Advocates for life and for choice gathered at the center of Indiana democracy, the statehouse, to emotionally voice their opinions after the court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave the divisive question in the hands of each state.

"Men don't have their bodies regulated, so why should women? It's upsetting," said the CEO of Women4Change, Rima Shahid. "But, as you can see, there are men and women here because today it's our right, but tomorrow it might be yours."  

Women4Change is an inclusive, non-partisan, grassroots organization that promotes the health, safety and respect of all Hoosiers. 

"The unborn are people. Their lives matter," said anti-abortion advocate Anna Zwergel. "Abortion is the murder of a living human being."  

They chanted and carried signs with messages that said it all.

Some protested for themselves. Many protested for others. But all protested for something.

"Yesterday was such a hard day. Women were told they were less than a person in the eyes of the Supreme Court," said pro-abortion advocate Bryan Stoffel. "I don't want that future for my daughter, Rosey, certainly not for other women." 

"I believe in the sanctity of life," said anti-abortion advocate Stephen Scull. "I believe only the Almighty can take it. I believe with all my heart that to destroy human life is a crime that cries out to heaven." 

Police intervened in several instances when tensions got high.

"It's upsetting when the majority of America are not in agreement with this decision, and yet our legislatures tend to ignore that," said Stoffel.

While anti-abortion advocates are fighting to use the Supreme Court decision to move forward, pro-abortion advocates are fighting to not go back fifty years.

"I lived through when we did not have Roe v. Wade," said Brenda Havens. "We do not need this again. We need to fight for women's right to choose." 

"I think it's time for pro-life and pro-choice groups to come together and really talk out those issues and how we can respect the lives of the unborn, but also empower women," said Zwergel.

Until then both sides plan to keep fighting.

On July 6, Indiana lawmakers will gather for a special session where they are expected to take up the question of abortion in Indiana.

Right now, pre-term abortions are legal up to 22 weeks of gestation.

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