APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The holiday didn’t stop protesters in Appleton from expressing their thoughts about the Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe v. Wade.
When the Supreme Court stripped away a women’s constitutional right to an abortion on June 24, Wisconsin reverted back to an 1849 law that banned abortions. It states that any person, other than the mother, who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child is guilty of a Class H felony.
Planned Parenthood clinics in Wisconsin stopped abortion procedures the same day.
Audrey Umnus, one of the organizers of the rally at Houdini Plaza on Monday, said she has protested every day since the Supreme Court made that decision.
“I won’t stop until there is a change made, I really won’t,” said Umnus.
She said that she organized the event through Facebook alongside a few other people. They also contacted the Appleton Police Department to let them know the rally was going to happen and help them block off some streets so that they could march.
Hundreds of people who support women’s right to choose came out to the event which was called the ‘We Won’t Go Back March For Our Freedom.’
“It fills my heart with joy to see how many people have come together to talk about this very pressing issue,” said Umnus.
After several speeches at Houdini Plaza, the group marched to Jones Park to link up with another group of pro-abortion rights advocates.
Another person who attended the events was Brianna Kerin from Appleton. She told Local 5 News this was the first rally she has attended since the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade came down.
“It’s Fourth of July, Independence Day and we (women) don’t have independence these choices are being made for us,” said Kerin.
Local 5 News didn’t see any counter-protesters while our reporting team was at the rally.
“We’re fighting for everybody to have their own opinion, to have their own freedom, to have their own life,” said Umnus.
Umnus said she hopes events like this will inspire people to vote.
“I want people to know that we are upset that we need to make a change,” said Kerin.
At the Democratic State Convention in La Crosse last weekend, Kaul said that his office wouldn’t enforce the abortion ban. At the same event, governor Tony Evers promised that he would provide clemency to physicians charged under the abortion law.
Last Tuesday, Kaul filed a lawsuit in Dane County seeking to block Wisconsin’s abortion ban. He said a 1985 law that permits abortions up to the point of fetus viability (when the fetus is able to live outside the uterus which occurs around 24 weeks) supersedes the 1849 abortion ban law.
Kaul also believes that the 1849 abortion law is no longer enforceable because it hasn’t been enforced for many decades while Roe v. Wade was the law of the land.
Others, like the Diocese of Green Bay, support the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Bishop David Ricken said in a statement on June 24 that “while the announcement by the Supreme Court, is met with gratitude from all of us who have been dedicated to protecting the lives of children in the womb, we know there is still much work to be done, so that all life, in every state, might be reverenced and protected.”
The Green Bay-based group 40 Days For Life also agreed with the Supreme Court decision.
The people at the rally in Appleton don’t agree with this sentiment.
“We are out here today because we believe that women deserve every right to bodily autonomy that every man in this world gets and that is being taken away from us, our constitutional rights are under attack and we aren’t safe here,” said Kerin.