As this issue hits the newsstands, voting for the 2022 mid-term election cycle will have already begun in Michigan with the distribution of absentee ballots.
Mid-term election cycles are often seen as “less important” than their counterpart, the “national” election of U.S. president, two years later.
This year could not be more different. There is a lot at stake in 2022, and a lot of it has to do with preserving women’s rights in Michigan and nationwide.
The people you and I vote into office this election cycle will either help women retain rights as basic as the ability to obtain birth control, or they will work toward removing those rights. They could also have a say-so on issues related to gay marriage, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, and racial justice, among other topics.
As has been widely reported, Michigan has a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would preserve women’s reproductive rights, including the right to contraception and abortion.
As the publisher of a women’s magazine, I sincerely hope that a woman and her physician can continue to make decisions regarding her healthcare together, without government or political interference.
Polls indicate that this issue, known as Proposal 3, or the Right to Reproductive Freedom, is strongly supported by a majority of the population in the state and, therefore, will pass. But that is not enough.
Women need to take care and not squander their vote this November.
Voting in favor of the women’s reproductive rights proposal, and then turning around and voting for candidates who do not support that right, is counterproductive.
Those candidates who do not support women’s right to reproductive freedom – some of whom are women themselves – may have the opportunity to try and interfere with other issues critical to women and their families, such as your ability to obtain birth control when you want it, gay marriage, LGBTQ+ issues, and more.
Do you have a family member or friend who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community? Do you have friends in the Black, Brown, Asian, Latino, African American, Native American or other “of color” communities? Can you look them in the eye and let them know that you are voting for candidates who will support them and their rights to equality and equity?
In Port Huron, we have three people running for our school board who openly stated, in the local newspaper, that they do not want diversity, equity and inclusion taught in our schools because that will not help students in the future.
Since when is learning about accepting others as they are, the very definition of the word “inclusion,” not going to help students in the future?
I am scared for the LGBTQ+ children in our community who might suffer should these school board members attempt to impose anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum in our schools, or remove LGBTQ+ books from our school libraries.
I am sad for the children of color who would not benefit from their white peers learning lessons regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, not to mention traditional U.S. history involving race. It is important to teach this history so we learn from our mistakes.
There is a lot at stake in this election cycle at the national, state, and local levels. Those elected to office during this mid-term election will help direct our community, our state and our nation moving forward.
I think it’s important for us all to figure out who we are and what our belief system is all about, and then use our vote accordingly.
And frankly, if you are using your vote to put into office someone who degrades women or dismisses women or doesn’t believe in diversity, equity or inclusion, or if you are considering voting for a candidate who would like to remove the rights of others, you’ve really got some soul-searching to do.
Our nation was founded on freedoms – religious and otherwise – for all. And all means All.
Determine what is important to you – and I know Blue Water Woman readers support diversity, inclusion, women’s issues and the LGBTQ+ community – and vote like the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on those votes…because they do.
Blue Water Woman