Pro-choice advocates around the US protest anti-abortion laws

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Pro-choice and women’s rights advocates held hundreds of rallies across the United States Tuesday to protest the passage of several laws banning abortions.

Activists in one rally in Englewood chanted “our bodies, our lives, our choice,” to express their outrage over anti-abortion laws passed in several states. New bills passed in Alabama and Missouri make performing an abortion a felony.

“I’ve been involved with this probably since 1959 when I had my first abortion and it was illegal,” says Ann Dermansky of Englewood.

Some of those who attended the rally say that the issue is personal for them.

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“I have several friends and family members that have had to have abortions over the years for various reasons. And for that option not to have been there for them could have been life-threatening for some of them,” says Erin Chung of the group Women For Progress.

But those who support the pro-life movement are applauding the new laws. Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right To Life - a group opposed to legal abortion - believes states now passing abortion bans are a path to overturning the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationally.

“We're always talking about things, about women’s rights and how they are going to be affected. But we're forgetting that there is another human being's life that we're speaking about when we're talking about abortion,” Tasy says.

While Tasy says she believes the new laws have sparked more activism in the right to life movement, pro-choice activists are vowing to step up their fight as well.

New Jersey is also among nearly 24 states suing the federal government over abortion rights. They oppose new rules allowing health care clinicians to object to providing abortions because it conflicts with their moral or religious beliefs. That new rule is set to take effect in July.

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