Chicago anti-abortion activists rally at Federal Plaza as Roe vs. Wade anniversary nears

Pro-choice counter protesters set up across street
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of anti-abortion rights activists gathered at Federal Plaza in Chicago's Loop Saturday for the annual March For Life.

"Take away birth control, Plan B and anything that is not regulatory to what the pro-life movement does," said anti-abortion supporter Alex Wirth.

"Want to promote progressive policies that are life-affirming, so we don't have to put pregnant people versus their children," said anti-abortion supporter Lauren Handy.

The rally and march that started in 1973 looks to challenge the practice of abortion.

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"You are here the year of the end of Roe," proclaimed Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, president, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

"We march today for respect for all human life that's the goal we need to pursue," said Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archdiocese of Chicago.

The event also looks to challenge the repeal of the parental notice of the Abortion Act in Illinois.

"Across this state and the Midwest we are standing up for women, we are standing up for babies," said State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville)

The March for Life happens every year around the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Saturday's event was met with a counter-protest by several pro-choice rights groups.

"This comes in the midst of this attack on women and women's rights to choose what to do with their own bodies," said pro-choice advocate Leo Pargo.

The group Counter March for Lives protest was set up directly across the street from Federal Plaza to highlight the new Texas law banning abortions after six weeks and ongoing efforts to restrict abortion access.

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"We feel with everything going on right now, it's really important for our side to be represented," said Benita Ulisano, Illinois Choice Action Team Clinic escort.

"Illinois stands to be literally the only state in the Midwest that is safe for abortion," said OBGYN Dr. Allison Cowett

After the rally anti-abortion supporters marched to the Hilton Chicago where there were dozens of anti-abortion organizations held separate events.

There were no reported incidents between the groups.
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