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Thousands protest abortion law at Statehouse

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 19:14:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Thousands of people fighting the state's new abortion law protested at the Statehouse Saturday. Meeting them there were pro-life supporters, and both sides exchanged heated words. 

The contentious new law set to take effect in July bans abortions due to fetal genetic abnormalities, prohibits abortions done because of a fetus's race, sex or ancestry and mandates that the only way to dispose of an aborted fetus is through burial or cremation.

The law has prompted lawsuits from the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. 

MORE | ACLU files lawsuit over Indiana abortion law | Indiana governor signs fetal defects abortion ban into law

"I'm not forcing anyone not to do something that they don't want to do, and I deserve the same respect," Jennifer Wilson said. 

Wilson was one voice among hundreds who held up signs against the decision, saying it infringes on women's rights. 

"It feels like from a woman's standpoint what we're allowed to decide for ourselves is shrinking more and more and so it's just something that I decided I really needed to stand up for," Leslie Pittard said. 

But Sue Swayze with Indiana Right to Life says the law is actually about stopping discriminatory practices. 

"This rally is another ugly reminder that they want to have the right to kill their babies that don't meet up to their expectations. These are the same characteristics that we seek to protect," Swayze said. 

"A person is a person no matter how small," Kate Shaw with Indiana Right to Life said. 

Among the crowd, voices against abortion pushed through. 

"We have military personnel fighting for what they believe in, laying down their lives for our freedoms. But women can't lay down their lives nine months for a child? If they can't take care of that child put him up for adoption," Erin Moore said. 

Met each time with push back from a group that says it won't give up. 

"It's time for the legislature to understand that women are important, that we have lives, we are people," Paula Thompson said. 

RELATED | Women are calling the governor's office to tell him about their periods in response to abortion bill | REACTION: Viewers respond to 'Periods for Pence' | Poland takes a page from Indiana by calling prime minister about their periods 

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