Candidate Profile: Jennifer Conlin, Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 48th House District

Jennifer Conlin is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary for the newly-drawn 48th House District which encompasses an area northwest of Ann Arbor. A former journalist, Conlin is vigorous in her support of abortion rights and for making it easier for all residents of the state to vote in every election.

In response to a Great Lakes Weekly survey, Conlin was unequivocal that she supports the Promote the Vote ballot proposal that will cement voting rights and the prevention of gerrymandering into the state constitution. “When I am out on doors I like to remind my neighbors that democracy is on the ballot this year,” she said. “I am a strong supporter of the Promote the Vote ballot proposal because I believe that we can not have free and fair elections if people are excluded from them.”

Conlin also supports Democrat Darrin Camilleri’s House Bill 5842 which would help control skyrocketing prescription costs by establishing a Prescription Drug Affordability Board and capping the price of certain types of prescription drugs.

When it comes to securing the right to abortion and for keeping politicians out of the doctor-patient relationship, Conlin was even more emphatic. In addition to opposing House Bill 6270 that would punish doctors for performing abortion with a 10-year prison sentence and punish those who distribute, manufacture or sell medications that would induce abortion with a 20-year prison sentence, she said she is against any legislation that would seek to outlaw IUD contraceptives and the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill. “I would oppose any bill in Michigan that would ban IUDs or the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill,” she wrote. “We must protect the right of Michiganders to make family planning decisions without interference.”

Conlin was particularly vocal about laws that created the situation where a 10-year old rape survivor from Ohio was forced to travel from her home state to another state to obtain an abortion due to Ohio’s extreme 6-week abortion ban. “If abortions were banned in Michigan, I would fight this decision with everything in me. We cannot allow our government to take away bodily autonomy. Of course, if abortion was banned I would push for exceptions for some of our most vulnerable citizens, survivors of rape or incest.”

Some anti-abortion laws in the United States are so draconian that they would prevent doctors from performing routine health care procedures when the patient has an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg implants and develops outside of the main cavity of the uterus. It can result in serious infections like sepsis, internal bleeding, and can be life threatening to the mother if left untreated. Conlin was clear that doctors should be free to treat their patients without government interference or fear of prosecution. “I believe that our healthcare providers need to be able to treat their patients to the best of their ability without fearing prosecution,” Conlin said. “If a healthcare worker provides care to pregnant people with ectopic pregnancies, this is a service, not a crime.”

Conlin is also in support of the Reproductive Freedom For All ballot proposal that would protect the right to an abortion in the state constitution.

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