By Becky Spaulding
In response to the current H.R. 3 Act – the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act – that is making its way through congress right now, “Walks for Choice” were arranged in many different cities, including Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids, on Saturday, March 26, in support of women’s reproductive rights.
The bill would likely cause many insurance companies to drop abortion coverage, because it would deny government funding to any plan or clinic that covers abortion. It would also potentially defund many women’s health clinics around the country.
In chilly downtown Grand Rapids, a group of men and women gathered at Veteran’s Memorial Park, which is where the walk began and ended.
The walk took the group past both the local Planned Parenthood building on College Avenue and the Heritage Clinic, where you can often see people outside praying, on Fulton Street.
Protesters held signs featuring slogans like, “Reproductive Justice for All,” and “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal,” as well as bright pink pins that read “I Stand With Planned Parenthood.”
Though members of Planned Parenthood did not arrange the peaceful protest, many were there with extra signs, pins, and whistles to share.
The act could potentially cut government funding to places like Planned Parenthood.
Government funding makes up about half of the funding they get annually, according to one staff member.
They walked through downtown, often greeted by honks, waves, and shouts from supporters, and a few thumbs-down from disapproving passersby.
Undeterred, they chanted and sang, “get your rosaries off my ovaries,” “our bodies, our choice,” and “gay, straight, black or white, all stand up for women’s rights!”
According to one walker, the walks could become a monthly event in Grand Rapids and other cities.
Go to www.walkforchoice.org for more information.