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'Couldn't celebrate the Fourth': Hundreds march in Appleton to protest overturning of Roe v. Wade

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 19:16:25-04

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) — On Independence Day, many women took the holiday to fight for what they say is their independence after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

"We definitely aren't firing up the grill today," Audrey Umnus said. "We're not going to the fireworks. We're here to defend the freedoms of every American."

Umnus organized the protest at Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton. She says there's no better day to make her opinions heard.

"I want to someday have a child that I can raise in that kind of environment, not the environment we have today," Umnus said.

The march moved on to Jones Park with another pro-choice event.

"It's so hard for me to celebrate freedom on a day where I don't have it anymore," Dylan Carrier said.

Hundreds of signs stating messages like 'stars and stripes and reproductive rights' lined College Avenue.

"It really doesn't feel like a day of freedom to a lot of us," Carrier said.

There was a small police presence and the gatherings were largely peaceful.

Last Monday, we spoke with the other side of the debate, as anti-abortion advocates held a rally in Ashwaubenon.

"Very overjoyed, very emotional to see life given a chance and to have this decision go back to the states where we can protect life here in Wisconsin," Pro-Life Wisconsin's Anna DeMeuse said.

Back at the Fourth of July rally, we talked with military veteran Mel Ohlinger. She spoke about this Independence Day for her.

"I couldn't celebrate The Fourth this year, because it just didn't feel like we have the freedom," she said.