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Pro-choice advocates protest strict abortion laws sweeping country

Similar demonstrations are taking place nationwide one week after Alabama made getting an abortion a felony in nearly all cases

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Advocates from Indiana and Kentucky are protesting abortion legislation recently passed in multiple states, including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.

Pro-choice protesters gathered at the Gene Snyder Federal Building in downtown Louisville Tuesday for the "Stop the Bans" rally. Similar demonstrations took place Tuesday in almost all 50 states to protest the recent wave of anti-abortion laws.

“The audacity that the government thinks they have a right to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies," protester and pro-choice supporter, Lynn Welch said.

Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, making abortion a felony in nearly all cases and providing no exceptions for rape or incest.

In Kentucky, two anti-abortion laws passed have been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.

“I really hope that more people become more aware of how much of a struggle it is for this fight and how big of a deal it is for it to be taken away," protester and pro-choice supporter, Sam Minrath said.

Advocates of Planned Parenthood and the group Indivisible Kentucky organized Tuesday's rally and encouraged people to dress up like the women from Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale,” a show based in a totalitarian society that treats women as property of the state who are forced to give birth.

More than 50 organizations like the ACLU and Pro-Choice America are participating in Stop the Bans demonstrations nationwide. The message: make sure elected officials know where they stand on this issue they call a “war on women’s independence."

But pro-life advocates say they want to be a voice for the voiceless. Their hope is for the Supreme Court to back the abortion bans and overturn the court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.

“Good government protects all of its citizens," executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, Margie Montgomery said. "And the unborn baby with the beating heart, the traceable brain waves deserves the protection of the law just as much as those that are running around as toddlers.”

Some of the pro-choice supporters say they worry that even if their rights were to be taken away, people will create an unsafe situation by finding the means to manage self-abortions at home.

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