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Stateside Podcast: Opponents of abortion in Michigan see hope for a future without it

A split photo of two protests around abortion rights. on the left side a black gloved hand holds a red stop sign shaped sign that reads stop abortion now. On the right side, a Black man in a blue plaid shirt holds a blue circular sign that reads keep abortion legal.
Maria Oswalt/Gayatri Malhotra
What shapes someone's view on legal abortion? Over the next two days, the Stateside podcast is going to talk to two people, with different perspectives, about how they came to their beliefs.

Whatever your opinion on legal abortion, there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months.

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to reverse or roll back the legal right to abortion laid out in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, leaving it for states to decide whether or not to allow the procedure.

In Michigan, that would mean the 1931 state law banning abortion would become the law of the land again. This is already seeding the ground for a fierce political battle in Michigan.

But for many people, this issue runs deeper than politics. Where they stand on abortion is informed by deeply personal beliefs and experiences.

Over the next couple of days, we want to introduce you to two Michiganders, with different perspectives on abortion rights, who will tell you the story of how they came to hold those views.

First up is Lansing resident Nick DeLeeuw, who works in political communications. DeLeeuw opposes legal abortion and calls himself a single-issue voter, though he left the Republican Party a few years ago.

He says his strong stance against legal abortion took shape early on. He grew up the eldest of 10 kids in a West Michigan family, and was often charged with taking care of his younger siblings. His family was also strongly opposed to abortion rights, and he says his extended family is filled with cousins who were adopted into the family. Some of those cousins, he said, were abandoned, some were born addicted to drugs, and some had serious physical or cognitive challenges .

"We have a very tight knit family, [and] these are some of my best friends. You know, some of them still are, to this day, some of my very best friends. And you see the dignity, you see the worth, you see the value. They're your friends and you just don't understand why, when there are different options, that someone would want to hurt someone like that."

Looking for more conversations from Stateside? Right this way.

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Stateside’s theme music is by 14KT.

Additional music byBlue Dot Sessions.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.