May 29, 2024

News Photo by Julie Riddle Marchers carry signs along Chisholm Street in Alpena on Saturday afternoon during an abortion rights march.


ALPENA — With chants of “My body, my choice” and “Women’s rights are human rights” echoing off of downtown buildings, several hundred people took to Alpena streets on Saturday afternoon to express support for legalized abortion.

Women and men of all ages marched from the Alpena Marine Heritage Trail arches on Fletcher Street to the 9th Avenue bridge and down Chisholm Street to the 2nd Avenue bridge, many holding pro-abortion-rights signs and cheering as passing motorists honked in apparent support.

Before the march, organizer Maddie Linton told the crowd that today’s young women should have the same rights as their mothers and grandmothers.

“It is not pro-life to take away a life-saving medical procedure,” Linton said, to the cheers of the crowd. “It is not pro-life to take away someone’s right to choose.”

Linton encouraged participants to support their cause during the November election by voting for candidates who represent their beliefs.

The march followed the June 24 US Supreme Court decision to revert the decision of legalization of abortion back to individual states.

In Michigan, abortion remains legal, pending legal wrangles over an existing law that would outlaw the procedure if enforced. A Michigan judge has temporarily suspended that law from taking effect while several groups challenge its legality.

Larry Bak, longtime head of the Alpena chapter of Right to Life, a nationwide anti-abortion organization, said the Supreme Court acted rightly in its decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

In the eyes of people who oppose legalized abortion, the procedure should be banned because it kills a child, Bak said.

“The baby is a life,” he said. “And they want to take it. And I can’t understand that.”

The Alpena Right to Life chapter disbanded about a decade ago.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jriddleX.

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