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Karlyn Rapport

You are about to lose the right to control your own body and your future. US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito posted the handwriting on the wall. When the Supreme Court’s opinion is issued in June you will lose the right to choose.

Wake up. Women and girls are disrespected and undervalued. This country runs on the uncompensated care provided by women and their commitment to their children and families. When women are paid it is not at the same rate as men.

Do not talk to us about how you care for women’s rights and innocent children. We live in a country where children live in poverty and food insecurity. In this country, there is no universal-earned sick leave. There’s no paid family, medical or sick leave. There is no universal pre-school. It is poor women and women of color who will suffer greatly from the fall of Roe v. Wade.

Alito wrote “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion.” The Constitution never mentions women either. That is why the Equal Rights Amendment is needed.

We would not be in this precarious position if the archivist had published the ERA amendment to the constitution.

We would not be in this precarious position if the Senate had passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (S 1975) codifying Roe v. Wade protection in law.

Do not pander to us by saying wait until November while the Senate forsakes poor women and women of color. Legal abortion procedures are less risky than childbirth.

The US has the highest maternal death rate among developed countries. According to the CDC, there are 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. For black women the rate is 55.3 deaths per 100,000. Access to contraception, the morning after treatment and abortion are of the utmost importance for prevention of unwanted pregnancies.

In Michigan a trigger law which was revised in 1931 will go into effect immediately with the fall of Roe v. Wade. It does not even allow compassion for victims of rape and incest. It would be a felony for a medical provider to perform an abortion unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother.

What can women do? Call US Sen. Chuck Schumer at 518-431-4070; call President Joe Biden at the White House at 202-456-1111 Tuesday through Thursday between 11 am and 3 pm; call US Sens. Gary Peters at 202-224-6221 and Debbie Stabenow at 202-224-4822.

Tell them to end the filibuster and secure enough votes to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (S 1975). Tell them to end the time limit barrier to ERA. If this Senate fails us, throw the bums out who took away your right to make your most personal choice. Vote. Let women in concert with their doctors determine if and when they parent.

This most personal decision should rest with them not with legislators. Roe v. Wade is an accommodation we have lived with since 1973. In poll after poll, for the past 30 years, 60% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most circumstances.

Sign the Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All initiative. Vote this November for legislators that show long standing evidence of support for women’s rights.

Wake up women and girls. Your rights and your futures are on the line. Enlist the help of the men who support and love you. We can no longer tolerate women and girls being treated like second class citizens.

Vote as if your life depended on it because now it does.

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