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Abortion rights supporters gather in Lansing ahead of Nov. election

Around 250 people marching together outside the Michigan State Capitol building on Oct. 8, 2022. Many in the crowd are holding posters with messages supporting abortion rights.
Melorie Begay
An abortion rights rally and march saw around 250 people outside the state Capitol building in Lansing Oct. 8. The event comes as Michiganders prepare to vote on on the the biggest proposals in the upcoming November midterms.

Updated Oct. 10, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. EST

With less than a month left until the midterm elections on November 8, abortion rights activists say they’re fired up to vote.

Supporters of a ballot initiative that would guarantee reproductive rights in the state Constitution gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing Saturday.

Despite a double digit lead in recent polling favoring a win for incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer and one of the largest signature turnouts for a ballot initiative, advocates say they’re not letting up.

Organizers spoke about the potential risk of losing the right to an abortion and the importance of medical privacy.

Tina De La Fé lives in Lansing and works for an educational nonprofit. She says this is an election that can’t be sat out because candidates have such strong opinions on abortions.

“I think we do a really poor job of figuring out actually who’s going to vote and how they’re going to vote,” she said, “I don’t take anything for granted anymore, and I think this is one of those elections, especially in Michigan, where it’s never been so far apart.”

De La Fé thinks the striking down of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier in 2022 galvanized people from across the political spectrum, even those who may typically vote Republican.

But, De La Fé remains concerned supporters could see a loss similar to the 2016 presidential election.

“I don’t think that if we don’t show up in big numbers, we can assure progress on anything. We have to show up. We can never take anything for granted. If we learned anything in 2016, it is that we have to show up,” she said.

While there were no visible counter-protesters at the event, a plane carrying a banner with an anti-abortion message banner circled above during speeches.

The group of more than 250 supporters marched through downtown Lansing following the rally chanting in support of abortion rights.

Melorie Begay is WKAR-FM's weekend host and a general assignment reporter.
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