More than 100 protesters, many carrying black headstone-shaped placards with messages such as “RIP Prescription Drugs,” and “RIP Women’s health,” chanted Friday outside the offices of U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder.
The protests came one day after the the U.S. House voted Thursday to support a Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Kevin Yoder’s got to go!” the protesters chanted.
Across the street, near Yoder’s offices along 79th Street in downtown Overland Park, about three-dozen counter protesters, professing anti-abortion sentiments, held placards of their own.
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“You stand for human rights, what about the human rights of the unborn?” shouted one anti-abortion protester, Ron Kelsey, 67, of Kansas City. Kan.
The gathering, peaceful but boisterous, drew honks from passing drivers, many of whom leaned on their horns in support of one side or the other.
“I think that all people who are Americans deserve health care in this country,” protester Mary King said.
Bill Thompson, 46, a worker at Burger King who is also part of the fight to raise the minimum wage, said that although his company offers health insurance, he cannot afford to sign on.
“I haven’t been to the doctor since I was 15,” he said.
“OK, everybody, are we ready to chant some more?” a protester with a bullhorn shouted, and began, “Health care is a human right.”
“Fight, fight, fight,” the crowd shouted.
Across the street:
“Human rights for unborn babies! Killing is not healthcare!” Kelsey returned.
Nancy Beverage of Fairway spoke out against government mandates on health care.
“I want to find my own health care,” Beverage said. “I don’t want the government to shove mandatory treatments on me one way or the other.”