Wearing purple and carrying picket signs, hundreds of abortion-rights advocates demonstrated outside Hoag Hospital Newport Beach Thursday night in protest of the recent decision to eliminate elective abortions.
They were met by a robust crowd of counter-demonstrators, many of whom made clear they were on board with the hospital's decision to stop providing the service after it affiliated with a Catholic healthcare system.
Signs proclaiming, "Our bodies, ourselves," mixed in with placards thanking Hoag for saving "babies." Alternating chants of "Shame on Hoag!" and "Thank you, Hoag!" echoed along Hospital Road.
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An earlier version misspelled Judy Rosener's last name.
"We will never know how many women were damaged by this decision," said Patricia Bellasalma, the California president of NOW, who came from Sacramento and, like many of the protesters, dressed in purple, a color associated with the women's rights movement.
Kristina Garza, 27, of Rancho Cucamonga, stood by Hoag, saying, "We are appreciative of their desire to save lives."