Protest and rally on Missouri abortion bill draws thousands at the Plaza

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thousands of people converged at the JC Nichols Fountain at the Country Club Plaza on Sunday, in response to the Missouri House recently voting to pass a bill that bans abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

The Missouri State Legislature passed House Bill 126 - the so-called Missouri Heartbeat Bill on Friday. See how the lawmakers voted here

That spurred Sunday’s protest.

At its peak, it was close to 4,000 people. Kansas City police had no reports of incidents or violence. It was a whole lot of people hoping their voices could be heard all the way to Jefferson City.

The chants of “My body, my choice” echoed across the Plaza, as did the cacophony of supporting honks on the streets.

Along the the sidewalks, a March in steps (and some with strollers) nearly a mile long snaked through the streets.

“I’m fighting for my own rights,” Katie Seymour said, as she carried a sign in the crowd. “If I don’t fight for them, who will?”

David Jones was a few steps behind Seymour. He walked with his wife and foster son. “It affects my wife’s mother, my wife, all the women in my life that are important to me, and women across the country,” he said. “So, I’m here supporting all of them.”

Soon after came Catherine Kelly. “I believe that a woman’s body is her body,” she said proudly, “and nobody else should be legislating it.”

It’s another step either back to, our away from, 1973’s landmark Supreme Court Decision. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion at the federal level. Those marching in Kansas City Sunday hope to keep it.

But despite the crowd and the roar, there is a worry. Is it enough to change minds in Jefferson City?

As Gov. Parson said on Friday, “Thanks to the leaders in the House and the Senate, we have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country.” His statement was greeted with applause.

Kathryn Davis is not one of those applauding.

“This is not pro-life. He’s not making any laws to pay for education, in fact they’re cutting education,” the mother and March participant said. “There’s not enough money for the food in schools. Schools just don’t have enough money. There’s no childcare. How is this pro-life when we can’t take care of the kids that we’ve got?”

The afternoon Abortion Bill Protest and Rally was one of two in Kansas City. In the morning, about 50 people walked from Case Park at 9th and Jefferson to the Jackson County Courthouse to protest HB 126 as well.

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