“Today is a sad day for America as an unelected group of conservative judges act squarely against the will of the people and medical expertise. We can all sense the despair that tens of millions of Americans—our neighbors, family members and friends—are feeling right now. However we personally feel about abortion, health—not politics—should drive important medical decisions,” Whitmer said. “I will fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust. I will not give in or give up for my kids, your kids, and the future of our great state.”
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist also released a statement.
“Today is a tragic day for Americans and Michiganders. Against medical expertise and the overwhelming majority of Americans who support this constitutional right, a group of conservative judges we did not elect have stripped access to reproductive healthcare from tens of millions of Americans. We can all sense the hopelessness and despair that our neighbors, family, and friends are feeling right now,” he said. “However we personally feel about abortion, health, not politics, should drive major medical decisions. Governor Whitmer and I are committed to ensuring this constitutional right is protected here in Michigan.”
The governor filed a lawsuit and asked the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize a constitutional right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution. It also asks the court to stop enforcement of the 1931 Michigan abortion ban. The abortion ban violates Michigan’s due process clause, which provides a right to privacy and bodily autonomy that is violated by the state’s near-total criminal ban of abortion. It also violates Michigan’s Equal Protection Clause due to the way the ban denies women equal rights because the law was adopted to reinforce antiquated notions of the proper role for women in society.
Governor Whitmer’s executive directive 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.
State of Michigan departments and agencies must also identify and assess potential opportunities to increase protections for reproductive health care, consistent with applicable law. They must detail how they can increase choices available to protect mental, physical, and reproductive health; safeguard the privacy of individuals seeking care; and assure the safety of reproductive healthcare providers.
Additionally, departments and agencies that communicate directly with the public on reproductive issues must provide accessible, comprehensive information about the current cost and availability of reproductive care and increase public awareness about the availability and safety of contraception.
According to a poll from January 2022, 67.3% of Michiganders support Roe and 65.7% support repealing Michigan’s 1931 trigger ban on abortion. Over 77%, believe abortion should be a woman’s decision. A sizeable majority of Michiganders agree that abortion is a decision to for a woman to make in consultation with a medical professional she trusts.
The executive directive can be viewed here.