Activists canvass for signatures on reproductive rights petition

Minnick: "Somebody has to stand up and fight."

LAKE COUNTY — Activist Mary Minnick and her husband, Mark Everheart, were outside the Lake County Courthouse on Friday, canvassing for signatures on a petition for reproductive rights, the day the Supreme Court overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade.

They started three months ago, preparing for a day they said they knew would come. 

"Every day that we go out and get a petition signed, it could be that day that that ruling came in. Now that just happened to be today," Minnick said.

Canvassing for signatures is something that Minnick does to make a difference. Family stories of women committing suicide because of being unable to get an abortion are part of the reasons why she has taken this upon herself.

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Additionally, her husband, Mark Everheart, is a longtime feminist and activist, who Minnick said: "taught her to be an activist."

"We're just losing the right to safe abortion," Minnick said. "Abortions are not going to end."

Minnick worries that the recent ruling could be the first in a slippery slope of rights being revoked, including gay marriage and transgender rights. 

"Every reproductive system is very personal for each person," Minnick said. "We can't take it for granted. We can't just toss it away," she said.

Minnick doesn't believe in taking away the right to abortion across the board, and should instead be handled on a case-by-case basis. According to her, she should be close to the 400,000-plus signatures needed to meet her goal. 

"We do believe we've got the 425,000," Minnick said. "What we're shooting for now is 800,000 folks, just so we can double that," she said.

"Just having a baby girl. Ain't no way they're doing that to her," one person said while adding his signature to the petition.

"There's millions of reasons to have an abortion. never just one reason. So personal and they just took it away," Minnick said.

Minnick hopes everyone who doesn't normally vote will come out and support reproductive health care for women on the November ballot. 

"The voters of Michigan can decide if they want women to have reproductive health care or not," she said.