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Thousands Protest Outside Philadelphia City Hall After Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- There have been nationwide protests in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Chopper 3 was over a large protest outside City Hall Friday night. From there, a march started to Independence Hall and then returned.

A huge crowd of people pounded the pavement in support of abortion rights.

Holding signs that read "my body, my choice," thousands of people marched in Center City.

Many showed anger and disappointment.

"I think it's really messed up," one protester said.

"They've had 50 years to codify it into a real law versus just a Supreme Court decision," said another.

"The majority of the people in the country want reproductive rights," a protester said.

Before the march, some shared their own personal stories, including City Councilmember Kendra Brooks.

"I'm also a woman who has had an abortion. This is about abortion rights," Brooks said. "But it's also about building safe, strong communities where people have what they need."

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier also told the crowd she had an abortion.

"The reason I'm out here today is to stand up for every 16-year-old scared Black girl," Gauthier said.

Meantime, opponents of abortion rights celebrated the Supreme Court decision earlier at Independence Mall.

"As a woman who has had an abortion myself, I can speak to the fact that abortion not only hurts the child, but it hurts the mother," Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia board member Marlene Downing said.

The impact of the decision is expected to be felt even in states that allow abortions like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, Drexel University associate legal professor Lisa Tucker says.

"I would anticipate that getting an appointment for care may be more difficult given that people from other states might decide to travel here for abortion care," Tucker said.

She also emphasized the decision Friday could motivate people to get out and vote in elections for years to come.

Earlier Friday, Eyewitness News spoke to dozens of people in Center City who stand on both sides of the controversial decision. The highest court's ruling eliminates the constitutional right to an abortion and allows states to ban the procedure.

"It's really heartbreaking to see," Philadelphia resident Matteo Matijasic said.

On the streets of Philadelphia, there has been both anger and disappointment.

"I'm furious," resident Robert Sondey said. "Where are we living? I mean, this is outrageous."

The majority of people Eyewitness News spoke to were dismayed at the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court.

"It's taking away basic women's rights and it's sad," tourist Elizabeth Szmigiel said.

Matijasic, a Philadelphia resident, adds he thinks it is an "absolute travesty."

"I think it's an absolute travesty, you know what I mean? Reproductive rights are really important," Matijasic said.

The decision to undo nearly 50 years of precedent will have sweeping ramifications for tens of millions of women across the country as abortion rights are curtailed, particularly in GOP-led states in the South and Midwest, and will lead to a patchwork of laws absent the constitutional protection.

Thirteen states have so-called "trigger laws" on the books, in which abortion will swiftly be outlawed in most cases with Roe v. Wade overturned.

"A lot of people will be forced to have children they don't want," San Diego resident Meg Palitz said. "You can have health complications, it can be really bad financially and really just change their lives for the worse, not to mention flooding the foster care system probably."

CBS3's Matt Petrillo and Madeleine Wright contributed to this report.

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