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Activism and concern in Michigan, where the right to abortion hangs by a thread

I wasn’t surprised, ’cause we knew it was gonna happenexplains Ellie Young. But I’m angry. A mother of four — including two daughters — she spent the day getting a petition signed on the University of Michigan campus.

I feel like that’s all we can do ’cause nothing else seems to worksighs Ellie, 34.

Ellie Young lives in Ann Arbor, a suburb of Detroit.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

In Michigan, the sense of urgency is particularly present. A preliminary injunction granted by a state judge last May still allows women to abort.

However, if this injunction were to be invalidated, it is a law of 1931 which would come into force and which would criminalize abortion. The Democratic governor of the state has already asked the Supreme Court of Michigan to decide, but in the meantime, the vagueness persists.

« It would be one of the most draconian laws in the country, which would make abortion a crime even in cases of incest or rape. »

A quote from Elie Young, militante pro-choix

Ellie, who grew up in a very religious family, says she leads this fight for her daughters. But it’s talking about his grandmother that his throat clogs.

She’s dead now, but I know she’d be mad, said Ellie. She points to one of dozens of pins on her black leather jacket. ” Stop the war against women “, can we read there.

My grandmother wore this pin in 1989explains the activist. Everything she fought for is now gone.

The activist treasured the pin worn by her grandmother, who also campaigned for the right to abortion.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

A little further east, in downtown Detroit, Jessica Prozinski shouts at passers-by, pamphlets in hand, to talk to them about reproductive justice. If you don’t have the right to choose if you will have children, how many, and when, what rights do you really have?asks the activist. It’s scary.

« This is the start of a long battle. »

A quote from Jessica Prozinski, militant pro-choix

If Jessica believes that a national strategy is necessary to protect access to abortion, she especially wants to focus on her state. Because Michigan could become a “sanctuary” state for women who live in other Midwestern states where abortion is prohibited – in Wisconsin, for example.

Jessica Prozinski at Hart Plaza near the Detroit River

Photo : Radio-Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

We don’t give upshe promises. Roe vs. Wade was won by the street and that’s how we’re going to defend Roe vs. Wade.

While Michigan’s pro-choice activists are organizing to avoid a return to the 1931 law, some women are already preparing for the worst.

Anna Nelson says she is very concerned about the Supreme Court’s decision.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

Anna Nelson describes herself as progressive, but not so militant. Faced with the uncertainty of the right to abortion in her state, she plans to switch to a permanent method of contraception.

I want to have the safest method of contraception possibleshe explains. So yes, I am inquiring about tubal ligation. I had never thought of it, but it is now an option that I am considering.

A change in the legislative framework in Michigan could also have repercussions in Canada. The state shares a land border with Canada and Detroit is only a few miles from Windsor.

American women could therefore choose to travel to Canadian soil to obtain an abortion – especially since the Trudeau government has already opened its arms to them.

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