Abortion-rights protesters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, June 25, 2022. A new poll finds a growing percentage of Americans calling out abortion or women’s rights as priorities for the government in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, especially among Democrats and those who support abortion access. Credit: Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP

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Alabama. Texas. Louisiana. Florida. Oklahoma. Idaho. Kentucky. Wisconsin. Missouri. North Dakota. South Dakota. Mississippi. These are places I will not visit. These are places I will not spend time or money. These are places that I believe will be economically broken by the rise of right-wing politics, because they have already been morally broken by their leaders. These are places where, as a woman, I am not a full citizen, with the rights and autonomy granted to the other half of the population.

Reproductive rights are basic health care rights. There is no similar restriction on healthcare for men. As women, do we not deserve the same? Are women to be punished, economically, emotionally, and physically, for being sexual human beings? Are women and girls to be punished for being victims of abuse? Are women to be punished for having medical issues that make pregnancy dangerous? Are women to be punished for having ambitions and dreams? Is that the intention of the Supreme Court conservatives? Men are not subject to such punishment. As women, do we not deserve the same?

To quote Martin Luther King, Sr. (father of Dr. Martin Luther King): “I don’t care how long I have to live with this system, I will never accept it.” As women, many of us have lived with a system of misogyny and discrimination for a very long time. We have fought for change, and have seen our efforts rewarded, albeit slowly. Now we see a return to a society in which our hard-won equality is under attack. As women, we won’t accept this, and must use the powers we possess.

Use your power to write letters, speak out, organize. Use your power to donate to candidates who are running against Republicans, to take your business to companies and states that are pro-choice. Most importantly, use that power we all possess: Vote!

Ruthanne Harrison