Hundreds gather at rally in reaction to SCOTUS decision overturning abortion rights
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Police Department is urging anyone planning to participate in demonstrations following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to do so peacefully Friday.
The agency stated in an incident report that it is working with other law enforcement agencies ahead of potential rallies. There is currently one scheduled for Friday night outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol. By 4 p.m., around 45 to 50 people on both sides of the issue had gathered at the base of the Capitol. That number continued to grow throughout the afternoon.
“The Madison Police Department supports the rights of people to speak openly and freely about their beliefs. Again, we ask anyone who plans to gather this weekend to do so peacefully,” MPD stated.
A Hartford woman said she hopes legislators pay attention to their message.
“So I am just really hoping that we can ensure that abortions stay legal in Wisconsin because I think it’s absolutely a human right,” Colette Poree said.
Most people at the rally in Madison marched against the Roe V. Wade overturn, including Crista Lebens.
“We’re not going to stand for this,” Lebens said. “That’s how I feel.”
Sixteen-year-old Caiden Stachowicz disagreed.
”I think it’s a big issue and I’m glad that the supreme court has overturned the federal law and now it’s up to the states which I believe is the best,” Stachowicz said.
He drove from Menasha, WI and stood as one of the few people at the rally in favor of the SCOTUS decision.
”Well I guess I say everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Stachowicz said. “I form mine based on a variety of other people’s opinions on what I’ve heard and they base theirs on their experiences and what they’ve heard.”
Lebens remembered when Roe V. Wade went into effect in 1973 and her elementary school bussed her to protest it.
Times have changed for her.
”They didn’t ask us what we thought about it. They told us what to think about it,” she said. “When I grew up and I could think for myself I realized that nobody has the right to tell anyone else what to do with their body. No one.”
She is hopeful voters will pay attention and make a difference.
MPD stated that there are staffing holds in place, meaning they are not granting leave requests for officers for Friday and Saturday. MPD will have extra patrols out this weekend near organizations and businesses, including the Special Events Team who will also be in place to keep crowds safe.
The department added that there is currently no indication that the rally scheduled outside the Capitol for Friday night would be disorderly or a threat.
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