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SCOTUS has Overturned Roe v. Wade - So, what can you and I do?

inviteCHANGE CEO, Janet M. Harvey's statement on the Supreme Court of the United State's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and the calls to re-examine other fundamental rights cases.

Janet reflects on her personal experiences and provides a path of action to move forward with sovereignty as a collective community.

I am experiencing waves of anger, betrayal, and deep sadness throughout this day of a kind I never imagined as a citizen of the USA.

I was born and raised in St. Louis MO. My parents and their friends followed Republican principles for small government, and personal responsibility, and were both steadfast on the pursuit of equal rights for all. My mother was a career woman, by choice and financial necessity. She was also active in politics, something she included me in as early as age 5 and I’ve sustained being active. While my personal beliefs and principles have evolved over my lifetime, it is exactly because I have the freedom for that evolution that sustains my attention on political action and focus. Why? Because it’s my responsibility to enjoy and honor the privilege of a free life in America.

It was not until he retired that I learned my father was pro-life and not a fan of equal rights for women. Throughout my life he tolerated my mother’s autonomy and kept his secret, until a pro-choice march occurred in their retirement community. To my and our friends surprise, he went from a firm, “no, I won’t go” to “yes, now I understand, and I choose to march.” He did march and he became an ambassador for the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 that to this day is still not ratified by the states.

Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, in delivering the opinion of the court in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, announced that "Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt." Doubt, however, permeates every line of their joint opinion. While they reaffirmed the precedent of Roe v Wade, the sewn doubt grew deep roots that are in full bloom today. In the opinion written offered by Justice Clarence Thomas today, we see new seeds of doubt sown about the very foundation of our human rights in America.

The phrase inscribed on the building that houses the Supreme Court reads, “Equal Justice Under the Law”. For all who identify as other than heterosexual men, your eligibility for equal justice under the law is challenged, and in some cases compromised by the actions of 6 individuals who have opened the door for thousands of people in the nation to implement their decision. If you feel skeptical, note that this implementation occurred in 19 states within minutes of the SCOTUS opinion being announced. Additional states are already on record with legislation to codify the removal of reproductive rights and announcements of a minority of this country organizing to establish a national ban on a women’s right to privately make reproductive choices.

So, what can you and I do?

As I’ve traveled the world people have shared with me how they find inspiration from America and Americans. I can’t imagine that this is true today as the ripple of today’s announcements reveal our challenges to be governed as a representative democracy.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked after a session of the Constitutional Convention, "What kind of a government have you given us?" he replied, "A democracy, if you can keep it." Our republic is founded on the principle that it will continue only if the people keep democracy alive. From Lexington to Korea, American youth have fought to preserve democracy. With each political campaign, the people who vote keep democracy alive. Each citizen who participates in community affairs is keeping democracy alive. Every act of mercy and helpfulness, every word spoken for freedom, keeps the democratic spirit alive. Democracy is maintained by passing it on from one generation to another in the school, in place of worship, in the home. At every stage, it must be strengthened.

Let us, therefore, resolve to give to our successors a stronger republic than was passed on to us. As we teeter on the brink of failure, remember, to achieve our more perfect union, we must all participate, even when it’s hard and scary.

Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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