‘An alarming time for women in our country’: Hundreds meet in Lansing for reproductive rights

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Hundreds gathered at the state capital in Lansing to "MI Body MI Choice March ”for reproductive rights.  - ALLISON R. DONAHUE / MICHIGAN ADVANCE

  • Allison R. Donahue / Michigan Advance
  • Hundreds gathered at the state capital of Lansing for the “MI Body MI Choice March” for reproductive rights.

Cheryl Bukoff, 76, remembers when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Detroit woman is fighting to uphold this constitutional right to abortion.

“When I was young in Michigan, we did not have those rights, and women had to go to Chicago or somewhere else to have an abortion. And it just puts women’s health at risk, ”Bukoff said. “Women have more resources now than they had then, and that’s great, but somehow we’ve let anti-election people reduce what we can do.”

Bukoff, along with hundreds of other people from across the state, gathered Saturday in front of the state capital for the “MI Body MI Choice March” for reproductive rights.

This was one of hundreds of rallies that took place across the country before the U.S. Supreme Court begins its new Monday Monday.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 right-wing majority, agreed to hear arguments Dec. 1 over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, poses a significant challenge to Roe v. Wade, The Supreme Court ruling of 1973, declaring abortion to be a constitutional right.

“This is truly an alarming time for women in our country, given the Republican majority now in the U.S. Supreme Court. It is very scary and the stakes can not be higher. And that’s why we’re here because we understand how high the stakes are, ”said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing), who sponsors the Women’s Health Protection Act.

Stabenow was among a list of speakers, including Secretary of State Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), who spoke in Lansing on the threat of Roe v. Wade, Texas abortion ban and Michigan’s current abortion restrictions.

Attorney General Dana Nessel attended the Women’s March in Washington, DC

“Today, I am marching alongside and representing those who refuse to stand still as states and legislators across our country work to erode women’s rights to make medical decisions about their bodies and lives,” Nessel said. . “Make no mistake, the federal precedent for reproductive rights is under attack. These attempts to clarify the rights that so many hold are a slap in the face to women and a step back for our country. I recognize my responsibility to fight these efforts and remains committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose. ”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also spoken openly about doing what she can to ensure abortion care remains legal in Michigan and has asked the GOP-led legislature to abolish Michigan before 1931 beforeRoe abortion bans criminalize abortion that the state could fall back on if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

In August, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a statement allowing another abortion ban, Texas’ Senate Bill 8, to take effect, banning the procedure as early as six weeks with no exceptions for incest or rape. It also allows individuals to sue anyone who they believe is giving abortions or helping someone access an abortion.

“Now some of you may be thinking, ‘Yes, it’s all over Texas. We do not even have to worry about this, ”Anthony told the crowd. “I have news for you: we have. To be clear, this Texas law sets a dangerous legal precedent and could be a way for states like Michigan to override people’s constitutional rights. ”

The abortion campaign also speaks out locally at a Michigan community that already wants to implement a strict abortion ban.

Hillsdale, a small town near the Ohio border, best known as the home of conservative Hillsdale College, proposed an executive order in early August that would ban abortions within city limits. The regulation would also make it illegal to “help or abet” an abortion that takes place within city limits, such as providing transportation, instructions or money for an abortion.

“It made me an activist,” said Hillsdale resident Kathryn Watkins. “I never considered myself an activist before it all happened. And then I realized that we all absolutely have the power to make a change in the world and in our country. We can not be afraid; we have to step up; we have to talk; we have to use our voices. ”

Originally published October 2, 2021 on Michigan Advance. It is shared here with permission.

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