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Whitmer Statement on Michigan Court of Claims Ruling on Abortion


September 7, 2022



Gov. Whitmer Statement on Michigan Court of Claims Ruling on Abortion

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after the Michigan Court of Claims ruled that Michigan’s extreme 1931 law banning abortions without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing nurses and doctors for doing their jobs is unconstitutional. The governor has been fighting for months to protect reproductive freedom in Michigan, and today’s ruling reinforces the governor's position that Michiganders have control over their own bodies under the state constitution. The Michigan Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of the abortion ban, a step that will help provide certainty about the legal status of abortion in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer Statement

“Today, the courts have ruled once again that Michigan women have the right to make medical decisions with their health care provider and those they trust. I have been fighting like hell to protect reproductive freedom in Michigan for months and am grateful for today’s lower court ruling declaring our extreme 1931 abortion law unconstitutional.  

“However, this decision is likely to be challenged, and we know that there’s a group of extremists who will stop at nothing to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest. With our rights still hanging by a thread, the Michigan Supreme Court needs to provide certainty and rule on my lawsuit to protect the right to abortion in the state constitution. I will keep using every tool in my toolbox to protect women, nurses, and doctors here in Michigan.

“While other states—and even some politicians in Lansing—take steps to control women’s bodies by defending extreme restrictions on abortion and health care, I will fight like hell for reproductive freedom. To those seeking freedom and bodily autonomy—whether you’re a young professional deciding where to begin your career or a mom trying to take care of the kids you already have, my message is simple: we respect women’s rights in Michigan. This is a home of opportunity and limitless possibility.”

Governor Whitmer’s Actions to Protect Reproductive Freedom

  • April 7: Filed a lawsuit to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s constitution protects the right to an abortion.
  • April 7: Penned an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press explaining her action and highlighting that 7 in 10 Michiganders support the rights affirmed by Roe.
  • May 3: Joined 16 other states to urge the United States Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and enshrine Roe’s protections in federal law.
  • May 9: Penned an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why she isn’t waiting for Congress to act and urging fellow pro-choice governors, state representatives, private businesses, and citizens to take action to protect reproductive rights.
  • May 25: Signed an executive directive instructing state of Michigan departments and agencies to identify and assess opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare, such as contraception. The executive directive also instructs departments not to cooperate with or assist authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided.
  • June 23: Launched a new consumer website to educate Michiganders about the availability of no-cost contraception with most insurance plans.
  • June 24: On the day of the Dobbs decision, filed a motion urging the Court to immediately consider her lawsuit.
  • June 27: Followed up with an additional notice to the Court urging them to immediately consider her lawsuit.
  • June 29: Sent a letter to Michigan’s insurers urging them to take steps to ensure Michiganders have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.
  • July 6: Joined with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public effort to educate Michiganders and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion. The public effort will disseminate information about the differences between medication abortion and emergency contraception to all local health departments throughout Michigan, healthcare providers throughout the state, and the public.
  • July 7: Called on the federal government to clarify and protect Michiganders’ right to cross the US-Canada border to seek reproductive health care or prescription medication including medication abortion.
  • July 11: Urged President Biden to make birth control available over the counter without a prescription.
  • July 13: Signed an executive order refusing to extradite women or health care providers who come to Michigan seeking reproductive freedom.
  • July 22: Called on FDA to reduce barriers to medication abortion.
  • August 1: Secured a restraining order blocking certain county prosecutors from enforcing the 1931 abortion ban after a court cleared a path for them to do so earlier on the same day.
  • August 3: Went to court to defend the restraining order and won.
  • August 4: Filed renewed request with Michigan Supreme Court to protect right to abortion.
  • August 4: Submitted legal brief to prevent enforcement of extreme 1931 abortion ban.
  • August 10: Filed motion for a preliminary injunction against 1931 abortion ban in Oakland County Circuit Court.
  • August 19: Won a preliminary injunction against the 1931 abortion ban, protecting legal abortion in Michigan until the Michigan Supreme Court takes up the governor’s lawsuit or Michiganders vote to protect women’s fundamental rights.
  • August 29: Expanded access to birth control to 200,000 Michiganders covered my MPSERS non-Medicare plans.
  • August 31: Called on big tech to protect data and digital privacy in light of report of law enforcement using personal health data to go after women seeking reproductive care.