On Monday night, a draft Supreme Court ruling was leaked that confirmed our worst fears: That this court is on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade and that within months, the Constitutional right to abortion could abruptly end for millions of women around the country.
Twenty-six states, including Michigan, are now poised to make abortion illegal the minute Roe is overturned. That means more than 36 million women of reproductive age (2.2 million in Michigan) would no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives — a right that has been the law of the land for 50 years.
As a candidate for State Representative in Michigan’s House District 48 -- a state where a 1931 law that makes abortion a felony, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the mother’s mortality, could be triggered by the Roe decision — I vow, if elected, to do everything in my power to advocate for women’s reproductive freedom. I would be representing the majority of Michiganders: a January 2022 survey found that 77.2% of residents believe abortion is a decision that should be left to a woman and her doctor. What’s more, national polls demonstrate year after year that voters overwhelmingly support reproductive freedom and the 1973 Roe ruling
Make no mistake about it: Reproductive rights are on the ballot for the 2022 midterms, now just six months away. In Michigan, as well as states across the country, the result of the upcoming elections will determine if the right to choose will still be a benchmark of our democracy. We need to ensure pro-choice candidates at every level of government.
We are at a crisis moment for abortion access, as we have seen in Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. In Michigan, banning abortion would disproportionately harm low-income women and women of color who do not have the financial resources nor the support they need to travel out of state to seek abortion care. Women need access to safe abortion no matter who they are, and their rights should not be determined by their ZIP code, income level, ethnicity or immigration status.
We know the GOP’s ultimate goal is to pass a nationwide ban that would block abortion access in every state in the country. But by overturning the Constitutional right of women to control our own bodies, the conservative majority in the Supreme Court is also showing their willingness to reversing other rights. Next up could be overruling the legalization of same-sex marriage.
I support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent decision to challenge Michigan's 1931 ban on abortion before the State Supreme Court, as well as legislation that has been introduced by fellow Democrats in the State House to codify reproductive rights and make access to abortion a state-guaranteed right.
Many of us are devastated by this news. But now is not the time to wallow in despair. Instead, it is the time to be furious and fight back. We only lose when we give up. And we will not give up.