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Local officials & candidates weigh in on overturning of Roe v. Wade

There has been no lack of definitive opinions by local elected leaders and candidates following Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that provided a constitutional protection for women seeking an abortion.

Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin said the overturning of a precedent that had stood for half a century made it clear that legislation would be needed to secure the right to choose.

“Reasonable people disagree on their personal views of abortion,” said Slotkin. “In my district, many women in the past few months have told me that, while they would never personally have an abortion, they would also never dictate to other women what they must do in their own lives. That sentiment is precisely the standard that Roe has preserved for the last 50 years in our country — the freedom for women to make their own choices, based on their own circumstances. It’s also why Congress must act to codify Roe into law. There is a bill in the U.S. Senate, led by two Republican senators, that does just that, and I will continue pushing Democratic leadership to quickly move it forward.”

On the other end of the spectrum, State Rep. Ann Bollin (R-Brighton), co-chair of the legislative Pro-Life Caucus, called the decision “a historic moment and a win for the sanctity of life.”

“The people of Michigan’s power to protect the lives of preborn babies has been restored,” said Bollin. “The work we’ve been doing to encourage pro-family policies is more important now than ever before. We must continue to have discussions with others about how to protect babies in the womb and lift up mothers and children who are struggling.”

Also commenting was Caitlyn Perry Dial, a Brighton Democrat running for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.

Dial said she was spurred to speak out after current Commissioner Mitchell Zajac, a Republican, said Roe v. Wade was an example of the federal government usurping its authority over state and local governments.

Dial, in response, said it was not a local issue.

“This is a human rights issue,” she said. “The Supreme Court did not decide that local governments are better to decide whether or not they allow AirBnB rentals. They decided today that women do not deserve the same right to privacy as men. A human right was taken away from American women today. This is not a victory for local control.”

Another Democratic commission candidate speaking out was Amelia Purdy-Ketchum, who said that legislators and County Commissioners hadn’t done anything to help working moms during the pandemic, and had even blamed them for “not wanting to work.”

“Now the courts are throwing us under the bus as well,” she said. “We need to get organized so we can take back our community from these types of extremists who look to strip our freedoms.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion Friday urging the Michigan Supreme Court to weigh in on whether the state’s 1931 abortion ban is constitutional. That law was superseded by the Roe decision, but was never removed from the books.

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