Mary Strevel: Fight for women’s rights continues

·3 min read
Mary Strevel
Mary Strevel

Women and men of Monroe County, be aware that your legislators — Dale Zorn, TC Clements and Joe Bellino — said, in essence, that women do not have a right to control their own bodies.

They will tell you what you can and can’t do in regards to your reproductive rights. If women don’t have control over their own bodies, they are not equal citizens.

With the Supreme Court posed to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1931 law in Michigan will be triggered that does not allow an abortion in Michigan except to save the life of the mother. That means rape or incest is not excluded. These legislators have stated they will not repeal this law. That means if a woman is a victim of rape or incest, she would not be able to take a pill to terminate a pregnancy.

Women will never be an equal citizen if you allow men to tell you what you can do with your body. If this antiquated law is not repealed, a woman would have to carry a “dead” baby for 40 weeks.

If Roe is repealed, abortions will go underground for the poor who cannot afford to travel to a state where it is legal. It will be as unsafe for them as it was in the past. I will never forget my friend telling me the story of her mother during the Depression giving herself an abortion because her other children were one step from starving and she refused to bring another child into that world. She risked her life for the sake of her “born” children.

But then do these politicians really care about those children? It appears they are pandering to a small and powerful percentage of people in the U.S. who use the issue of abortion to get reelected.

From March 7 to April 13, 2022, a survey of 10,000 people from Pew Research found that only 8% of respondents thought all abortions — with no exceptions — should be illegal. This is the scenario that Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision would be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. This does not reflect the beliefs of most Americans. What really justifies five Supreme Court Justices to override a 50-year old law, take away women’s rights and the wishes of most Americans?

None of the Monroe County lawmakers have stated they are in favor of repealing this archaic 1931 law. If Roe is overturned, Bellino stated in The Monroe News, “I remain committed to advocating on behalf of human life until the attacks on the unborn stop once and for all.” Zorn said, “(He) will strongly advocate for laws in Michigan to protect the unborn.” And Clements said, “Conversations that include pro-choice are simply masking a decision as to when our society will accept the killing of a child.” Their statements and refusal to repeal Michigan’ 1931 law infers that using the morning after pill makes a woman and her physician baby killers.

In the U.S. in 2020 the percentage of terminated pregnancies by pill was over 54%. Some of these antiabortion states would make it a felony to get a pill from a state where it is legal. Your 14-year old granddaughter could be charged as a criminal if she took a pill after she was raped.

Do you want to put your families’ lives in the hands of Michigan legislators and give them that power? Legislators Zorn, Bellino and Clements have made it clear: Women don’t have the right to control their own body. Do our politicians care about the children or do they use the abortion issue to get reelected?

Research indicates as high as 71% of the population in America think abortion should be legal. I rest my case.

Mary Strevel is a member of Stronger Together Huddle, a group engaged in supporting and promoting the common good of all. She is a retired English teacher from Monroe. She can be reached at mdstrevel@ gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Mary Strevel: Fight for women’s rights continues