When Roe V. Wade was overturned June 24, any federal protections that existed in support of abortion rights were done away with. Without such protections, the matter was left up to each individual state to decide.
Throughout the United States, different pieces of legislation that either restricted or outright banned abortion became law. With Michigan specifically, an effort had been undertaken to put the issue of abortion on the ballot.
Michigan Proposal 3, the Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative, was added to the Nov. 8 ballot during the upcoming midterm elections. The decision to protect reproductive freedom will fall into the hands of Michigan voters. If it passes, the state constitution would make reproductive freedom a right within Michigan. This would mean that individuals would be able to make and enact decisions about matters relating to pregnancy, including childbirth, contraception, sterilization, and abortion care, to name a few of the matters it would pertain to.
However, none of this will matter if Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina gets his way.
On Tuesday, Senator Graham proposed a federal abortion ban that would prohibit abortions done after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This isn’t his first time pulling a stunt like this. I call it so because it feels like political theatre, more than anything.
In the aftermath of Roe’s overturning, there was a wave of noticeable anger coming from those in support of abortion rights, targeted at both political parties. 57% of adults, or about 6 out of every ten U.S. adults, disapproved of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority making the decision to overturn the case, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center.
Much like the old Rage Against The Machine song, “Freedom,” goes, “Your anger is a gift.” People took that anger and began to make things clear. Protests began taking place outside the justices’ homes. Some speculate that turnout in states where abortion rights are under threat will increase as a wave of blue voters surges forward.
Frankly, to even try and get a ban like this passed through congress as it is and the president’s desk would be absolutely absurd.
However, this play by Senator Graham could be seen as an attempt to rally conservatives. An argument can be made that if Republican voters are able to mobilize around certain policies and objectives, it may be enough to force the Democrats’grip on power to loosen.
Data indicates that the Democrats’ voter base has not been satisfied as of late. In another Pew Research study, about 73% of Democrats polled responded that the statement “I often wish there were more political parties to choose form in this country” with some degree of agreement, be it minimal to extreme.
Republican politicians are a threat to the most vulnerable individuals in society.
They actively target marginalized communities. A mother who isn’ table to care for her unborn child when minimum wage barely allows her to take care of herself is labeled a “baby killer” to spark outrage from an electorate. In these sorts of situations, anything goes.
This isn’t to say that Democrats are the defenders of democracy and civil liberties they dress up as. More than anything, the’re the ones who aren’t willing to upset the current status quo, the ones who willingly did nothing to federally secure Roe. Democrats will then email you asking for campaign donations the moment Roe V. Wade is overturned, telling you that “abortion is on the ballot this November.”
Meanwhile, Republicans began making moves to combat reproductive rights, slowly building up a movement that would eventually achieve one of it’s greatest goals.
Midterms are on Nov. 8. My advice? Organize within your community. Look after your friends and loved ones. Fight for what is right. Voting isn’t the only path forward. It’s one of many avenues, one of the many tools at our disposal, but it isn’t our only option.