In Downtown Raleigh, Fourth Celebrations, Protests for Abortion Rights :: WRAL.com

– Two groups of people marked the 4th of July in two very different ways Monday in downtown Raleigh.

The traditional celebration began at noon with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776, and a wreath being laid at the George Washington Monument by the Sons of the American Revolution. The free, family-friendly commemoration included music, crafts for kids, tours of the State Capitol, and birthday cupcakes.

The celebration on the grounds of the State Capitol contrasted with a protest, a classic expression of America’s core values ​​- freedom of speech and the right to assemble. Abortion rights groups had planned rallies at the Capitol and across the street outside the North Carolina Supreme Court. The court, of course, was closed for the holidays.

About 50 people marched around Capitol Square, carrying signs and chanting “My body, my life” in an effort to raise awareness of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion remains legal in North Carolina, but the procedure is banned in more than a dozen states across the country as a result of the ruling.

In Washington, DC, and across the country, similar protests were planned. Organizers described it as a national day of action to demand access to legal abortion across the country.

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David H. Henry