KANSAS CITY, Mo — Hundreds of protesters gathered Friday evening at Mill Creek Park following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The decision brought emotional reactions and different perspectives from the crowd.
Kelsey Walker, a mother of two, says she was angered and felt physically ill following the announcement.
Walker worries what this means for bodily autonomy and rights of human beings, including millions of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.
Walker was especially shaken up by the news as abortion is a part of her story.
“I feel very lucky that in 2017 I had that ability to choose,” Walker said. “Any loss like that is going to be hard and traumatic but I had a right to choose to continue to live and be there for my family.”
Her daughter, Hope, was aborted at 18 weeks after suffering from lethal brittle bone disease.
The condition would have eventually killed both daughter and mom.
“Her ribs were breaking in on her heart and on her lungs and her skull flexed underneath the pressure of the ultrasound wand,” Walker said. “It was the choice between letting our daughter Hope continue to suffer and risking my life and neither of us making it out, or me and my husband having to make that choice.”
The grief of losing a child stayed with her for years, and it led her to write her book "Face Everything and Rise."
She also started From the Green Desk, a non-profit organization that hosts group coaching and therapy for people who have had abortions, miscarried or lost children.
She hopes opponents understand getting an abortion is never an easy decision.
“I would sit down with them like we are now and tell them my story, and tell them how important it is for you to be able to make that decision so that you can save your own life,” Walker said.
Shalese Clay, a Black woman working in maternal healthcare, says the ruling is especially dangerous for people of color and low-income families.
Driving hundred of miles out-of-state to get to the nearest clinic is not an option for many of her patients.
“Knowing that we have limited resources to make a real change for families is disheartening and for me as a woman, makes me angry,” Clay.
Meanwhile, Danielle Underwood and the Value Them Both Coalition are working to reinstate reasonable limitations on abortions. They are a group of Kansans campaigning for an amendment to the state constitution.
“It’s important because we know that unlimited abortion hurts both women and babies,” Underwood said. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of live dismemberment abortions that are happening here, we also lost our clinic safety and sanitation standards. Those are two very reasonable limits.”
Checking “yes” on the ballot this August 2 would support regulations like parental notification, restrictions on second and third trimester abortions, informed consent and safety and sanitation of abortion clinics.
“We want to make sure that those, our ability to have those kind of laws, are back in place,” Underwood said. “This is really a question about having an unlimited abortion industry or reasonable limits on the abortion industry that we come together and decide on together through consensus.”
Underwood said the amendment is not a ban on abortion and that the only thing it bans is taxpayer funding of abortions.