GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — Those who support and oppose Planned Parenthood gathered outside several of the organization’s locations around the country, including in Grand Rapids.
More than 1,000 people lined Cherry Street between College and Madison Avenues Saturday. The demonstration started as an anti-abortion protest by people who want to see Planned Parenthood defunded. Supporters of the organization rallied together to plan a counter protest though, and eventually outnumbered those opposed by hundreds.
Supporters also marched from Planned Parenthood down to Rosa Parks Circle Saturday afternoon.
“To take away funding from Planned Parenthood you’re taking away basic healthcare for women that can’t afford to have insurance or women that don’t have employers that provide it,” Michelle Petz told 24 Hour News 8. “I used Planned Parenthood for 15 years while going to get my degree in social work and waiting tables, so it’s super important to keep that in place.”
People against the organization want it defunded because abortion is one of several services Planned Parenthood provides.
“There’s enough information to show that murdering a baby is no choice. It’s not about women’s rights. We don’t have rights. Rights come from God… we have a nation that calls evil good and good evil and I can tell you judgement will fall on this country and when it does it will be very harsh,” Rod Romeyn told 24 Hour News 8.
The demonstration remained peaceful overall, despite people with passionate and differing views standing within feet of each other. Grand Rapids Police was on scene to monitor the protest, mainly dealing with people who were standing in the street instead of remaining on the sidewalk.
Other demonstrations took place in Detroit, Ferndale and Ann Arbor. More happened in several states such as California, Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report