Advance Notice: Briefs

Cecile Richards to headline rally fighting abortion bans

By: - May 19, 2019 6:14 pm

Cecile Richards | Ken Coleman

As Right to Life of Michigan is moving full speed ahead with a petition drive to ban the standard dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, reproductive rights advocates are holding a rally on Tuesday in Ann Arbor.

Former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is slated to headline the event starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Diag at the University of Michigan. Richards, who stepped down in 2018, has co-founded a new political action group, Supermajority, dedicated to advocating for a women’s agenda in the 2020 agenda.

“Women ran for office in record numbers. Women voted in record numbers. And women won office in record numbers. The pink wave didn’t stop on Election Day, and we are going to show our lawmakers — again — that our rights are not up for debate,” said Ashlea Phenicie, digital communications and organizing manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

Michigan is one of several states where Republicans are pushing abortion restrictions, including Georgia, Ohio, Missouri and Alabama, which just enacted a total ban. Anti-abortion activists are trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

There are events in seven Michigan cities scheduled so far part of a national day of action called “Stop the Bans.” Other rallies are slated for Ludington, Jackson, Houghton, Kalamazoo, Port Huron and Marquette.

The day of action is sponsored by All* Above All Action Fund, ACLU, EMILY’s List, Indivisible, MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet and Women’s March. Events are scheduled in almost every state the country.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.