BILLINGS - Protesters turned out across Montana Monday, as demonstrations continue against the recent US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
About 100 people turned out in Billings for the first of two protests planned for the Fourth of July holiday and say it's the very concepts the holiday represents that brought them out to demonstrate Monday.
The first protest took place at the Yellowstone County Courthouse at 10 a.m., and the second Fourth of July protest is planned for 7 p.m. at the Metra, where the city will hold a fireworks display.
“I can’t think about anything more patriotic than to be out here saying this is not okay, we are not okay with this, you’re taking away somebody's rights," says Anna LaFountain, a protester at Monday's event. "I think that’s what our nation is founded on, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”
Similar demonstrations tailored to the holiday have been seen throughout the holiday weekend, including people dressed as the Statute of Liberty marching in the Livingston Roundup Parade. An outfit was also seen at a protest in Eureka.
Fourth of July reproductive rights protests were planned for Missoula, Butte, Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls, and more.
“I don’t think it’s a Montana value to be okay with being told what to do and this is very much SCOTUS telling us what to do and I hope other Montanans are like, 'Nope,'" says Lorinne Burke, a protester at Monday's event in Billings.
Despite the SCOTUS ruling on June 24, abortion remains legal in Montana after a Montana Supreme Court ruling ensured the right is protected under the privacy clause in our state's constitution.
The US Supreme Court ruling opens the door for a challenge to Montana's law and anti-abortion activists and leaders say the fight is just starting.
“This is just the first step, we have our work to do if we want to protect babies in the womb through all nine months of pregnancy,” said Amy Seymour, of Yellowstone Valley Christians for Life.
With Montanans feeling strongly on both sides of the issue, protesters say they'll continue to make their voices heard.