Vote Gov. Whitmer to protect human rights


Bryan Elser

Whitmer (left), Dixon (right) portray each other as radical in first Michigan governor debate (Photo courtesy of Detroit Free Press).

Aubrey Snavley, Assistant Editor

In Michigan’s first-ever election featuring female candidates from both major parties, current Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to “fight like hell” to support abortion rights, while her opponent Tudor Dixon is vowing to fight to ban all abortions, including in situations involving rape and incest. She excused this by saying that sometimes “healing” results from such tragedies.

Whitmer’s views are more in line with most Americans. A recent poll by Pew Research showed that 61 percent of Americans supported a woman’s right to choose. Only 15 percent of Americans believed there should be no exceptions to banning abortion.

The issue of abortion has been central in elections across the nation, including in Michigan. The issue became more prominent when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving it up to individual states to outlaw abortion. If Dixon were currently governor, individuals in the medical field who provide health care for their patients could face jail sentences, and people who are victims of rape and incest would not be able to get the needed care. This terrifying scenario could be made a reality if Dixon wins the race for governor against Whitmer.

Governor Whitmer has also taken action to protect those in the LGBTQ+ community. In January 2019, one of her first actions was signing an executive directive to increase protections against discrimination in statewide employment, for all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Most recently, in June 2021, Governor Whitmer signed an executive directive to prevent  the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from using any funds for conversion therapy on minors.

As for Dixon and her opinions on those in the LGBTQ+ community, it’s been made painfully clear that there she is openly hostile to the rights of this group. On Dixon’s website, found under the education tab, she says she wants to ban school employees from “talking to Kindergarten–3rd grade children about sex and gender theory secretly behind their parents’ backs,” and ban “born boys from playing on girls’ teams in school-sanctioned, gender-specific sports.” Both of those statements are blatantly transphobic, and even mirrors the ideas behind Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation and efforts already here in Michigan to ban trans athletes from participation.

Senior Vivian Lakin made it clear that Whitmer had her support for many reasons. “I really think she handled COVID well,” Lakin said. “Whitmer handled lockdowns and precautions with class and professionalism and kept our state as safe as possible, even when facing backlash.” The backlash she spoke of was no joke. Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who played down the coronavirus pandemic from the beginning, slammed Whitmer on her policies to stop the outbreak during one of his rallies , drawing shouts of “lock her up” from a rally crowd. While Michigan’s economy suffered inflation as a result of the COVID pandemic, this is an international problem, not something unique to our state. The virus caused an economic downturn, not Whitmer. Michigan’s policies were actually much less restrictive than many strong democracies, such as New Zealand and much of Western Europe. Whitmer did her best to navigate an unprecedented crisis, and we currently have an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and a projected surplus of more than $3 billion, according to The Detroit Free Press. This comes after many years of budget deficits under Republican leadership before Whitmer’s term. Whitmer has managed a difficult economy effectively, but more importantly, she has helped protect minority rights. Tudor Dixon would put Michiganders back decades. Voters need to stand up for human rights and vote Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 8.