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Choices and risks
Norma Smith Olson, left, and Kathy Magnuson
by Norma Smith Olson and Kathy Magnuson

We make choices every day. What to eat for breakfast, what to wear. And more life choices - education and career paths, where to live, friendships, whether to walk home alone in the dark, who to forgive, who to trust - and with every choice there are risks.

In Minnesota, at least 40 churches have chosen to become sanctuaries for people seeking political asylum. In February, 6,000 pro-choice people showed up at Planned Parenthood's offices in support of women's rights to have access to full medical care. They peacefully faced a few hundred anti-choice protestors. In January, an estimated 90,000 marched to the Capitol in St. Paul, joining the worldwide Women's March with the message that women's rights are human rights.

In this issue we share stories of women and choices they've made and risks they've taken - from choosing to be vegetarian to choosing to go to jail. One writer calls for women to use the "men's" bathrooms as a protest.

Jana Shortal, of KARE 11, shares her thoughts about bringing forward her own personality and style in her career as a news reporter. Ashley Steele, of the YWCA, writes about choosing to have ongoing, facilitated conversations about race. Barbara Satin tells her truth about being a transgender person to change people's understanding. Each woman considers a personal choice to use her voice and make a statement.

Not a surprise perhaps, in a choices-themed issue, that we feature a story about pro-choice efforts today. In this new era, where women's rights are again under attack, we stand with Planned Parenthood and say that women should be the ones making the choices about their bodies and should have access to fact-based information in support of all their decisions. What do you have the power to do? What is your privilege and how can you act from that place? What are the risks you are willing to choose?

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