Walk for Choice Rallies Support for Women's Reproductive Rights, Squares Off Against Religious Counter-Protest

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Some 200 pro-choice demonstrators -- some college-age, others old enough to recall protesting for abortion rights before Roe v. Wade -- turned out for Saturday's Walk for Choice in downtown Dallas, one of a few dozen in cities around the world meant to drum up support for Title X funding for women's health care providers, and protecting access to abortions.

After rallying up at JFK Memorial Plaza, the group took a few laps through the West End -- past out-of-town cheerleaders headed to the convention center, and, sadly, no one headed to the Furry Fiesta -- waving slogans such as "Trust women," "Stand with Planned Parenthood," and "Taking away choice is a Boehner move," before settling back at the plaza to take turns at a megaphone.

Planned Parenthood's Denise Rodriguez told the crowd that the mandatory sonogram bill working its way through the Texas Legislature now amounts to "state-mandated shame."

"This is about being able to plan your reproductive lives," she said, rallying support for the group's March 8 lobbying blitz in Austin, where, she said, they'll encourage lawmakers to "prioritize fixing the budget instead of shaming women in Texas."

A group of about 40 counter-protesters stood across the street most of the time, occasionally chanting back or reading aloud from a Bible. After a while, they crossed the street and the two groups shouted back and forth across the battle lines, one side chanting, "Abortion is murder of innocent children," while the other fired back, "Keep your rosaries off our ovaries."

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