Abortion rights supporter removed after Eastpointe church service disruption

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

A protester who appeared to be using fake leaves as clothing and chanted support for abortion rights was escorted out of a Catholic church in Eastpointe after disrupting Sunday Mass, a video posted to social media shows. 

The video, originally posted on TikTok before being taken down, shows a woman standing among seated parishioners at St. Veronica Church. The protest comes weeks after a draft opinion leaked in May that signalled the Supreme Court was primed to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion across the country. 

The woman appears to be wearing tree leaves as underwear, evoking paintings of Adam and Eve, and can be heard chanting "Overturn Roe? Hell, no!" and "abortion without apology" before she is pushed and pulled down the aisle and removed from the church. Another woman behind her is escorted out as she chants similar support for abortion rights.

The protester's name does not appear on the TikTok account that shared the video, and attempts to reach the Twitter user were unsuccessful. 

More:After Supreme Court leak, religious rift over legal abortion on display

More:What happens next for abortion in Michigan? What to know after Roe draft leaks from SCOTUS

"We are sad to see protesters disrupt a liturgical celebration and disrespect those who were gathered in prayer," said Ned McGrath, director of public relations for the Archdiocese of Detroit, which oversees Catholic churches in Metro Detroit. "All religious communities should be free to worship without fear."

Protests in favor of abortion rights gained steam across the country and in Michigan last month after the Supreme Court leak. Abortion supporters, often accompanied by lawmakers, rallied in Detroit, Ann Arbor and in the Michigan House in Lansing in the days following the publication of the draft opinion. 

The Supreme Court's decision in the case is expected to be released by the end of June, when the justices term for the year ends and they break for the summer.