By CBS3 Staff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Rita’s Italian Ice is responding to a photo going viral on social media showing a person in an Ice Guy mascot outfit at the abortion rights protest in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Protesters took to the streets in Philly and nationwide as part of the “Stop the Bans Day of Action.”

Rita’s said in a statement on Twitter that the person in the outfit was a franchisee’s employee who “misappropriated” the outfit and went to the protest. The person held a sign that read “Stop Trying To Ban Abortion.”

“The participation in the protest today in Philadelphia was not sanctioned by Rita’s Italian Ice. A franchisee’s employee misappropriated the Ice Guy outfit and went to the protest. Rita’s Italian Ice is not an active participant in the abortion discussion,” the company said.

The protests were staged at noon local time in nearly 50 states, including one of the largest rallies outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Abortion rights activists say recently passed state laws in places like Alabama are an attack on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.