Skip to main content

Two Years After Dobbs Decision, Governor Whitmer Still Fighting Like Hell to Protect Reproductive Freedom in Michigan


June 24, 2024


Two Years After Dobbs Decision, Governor Whitmer Still Fighting Like Hell to Protect Reproductive Freedom in Michigan


LANSING, Mich. — Today, on the two-year anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case in which the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II issued the following statements and outlined their ongoing efforts to protect and expand reproductive freedom in Michigan. 


“Two years ago, Americans had their constitutional right to abortion stripped away by an extreme, out-of-touch Supreme Court,” said Governor Whitmer. “We must keep fighting to protect the fundamental freedom of every person to make their own health care decisions about their own bodies. While other states have gone backwards, banning abortion, going after birth control, and gutting all kinds of critical health care, we are leading the way to move Michigan forward. We will keep fighting like hell to protect reproductive rights.”


“Since the Dobbs decision, Governor Whitmer and I have fought tirelessly to protect abortion access in Michigan,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Thanks to the efforts of so many leaders and advocates, not a day has gone by in which Michiganders could not access abortion care. With other states and national leaders are threatening national abortion bans, we know there is still more work to do. We will continue using every tool in our toolbox to protect reproductive freedoms and help more people reach their full potential right here in Michigan.”


Ongoing Attacks on Reproductive Health Care

Legal challenges to long-held reproductive rights and freedoms will continue as extreme partisan plaintiffs push cases through favorable state courts. Many basic protections, including birth control, IVF, and surrogacy, are under attack.


In February 2024, the Alabama Supreme Court held that frozen embryos are considered children under state law, and those who destroy them can be held accountable for wrongful death, effectively ending access to IVF in the state. Millions of Americans use IVF every year to start a family. Since then, Governor Whitmer has protected the right to reproductive alternatives, including IVF and surrogacy, in Michigan with the Michigan Family Protection Act


Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court overturned on procedural grounds a Fifth Circuit decision that would have restricted access to mifepristone nationwide. While the Court found these plaintiffs did not having standing, the Court explicitly left open the possibility that other cases could impact access to critical aspects of reproductive care, even in states where it is legal.


Governor Whitmer’s Fight for Reproductive Freedom, Families, and Health Care

  • In June 2022, before the Dobbs decisions was leaked, Governor Whitmer filed a filed a motion urging the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately consider her lawsuit asking the court to decide if Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion.
  • In April 2023, Governor Whitmer repealed Michigan’s extreme 1931 abortion ban.
  • In May 2023, signed a law prohibiting employers from discriminating against women because they’ve had an abortion.  
  • In August 2023, Governor Whitmer announced increased funding to foster parents across the state. 
  • In November 2023, Governor Whitmer signed the Reproductive Health Act, which repealed politically motivated, medically unnecessary statutes that criminalized nurses and doctors, forced health care providers to close, raised costs for patients, and restricted access to abortion.
  • In December 2023, Governor Whitmer signed legislation protecting health care workers from violence while on the job and the final piece of the Reproductive Health Act that forced Michiganders to buy a separate insurance rider for reproductive health care. 
  • In February 2024, immediately following the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court, Governor Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue a reminder to health care providers that they are protected under state law from extradition. 
  • In March 2024, Governor Whitmer filed a motion to protect reproductive freedom from a legal challenge on Proposition 3, which enshrined abortion rights in the constitution following a ballot measure in 2022. 
  • In April 2024, Governor Whitmer signed the Michigan Family Protection Act to legalize surrogacy and protect access to IVF. 
  • In May 2024, Governor Whitmer directed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue a reminder to Michiganders to be cautious of data privacy laws after reports of law enforcement using personal health data to prosecute those seeking reproductive care.