LANSING — Governor Gretchen Whitmer sued 13 county prosecutors in an effort to protect access to legal and safe abortion in Michigan in light of an expected ruling by the United State Supreme Court that would end Roe v. Wade.
In 1931, the all-male Michigan legislature passed a ban on abortion that stood until the United States Supreme Court affirmed the right to privacy in medical decisions in Roe. The law is still on the books and would be enforceable by the 13 county prosecutors in Michigan where abortions are performed. Governor Whitmer’s lawsuit seeks to get the Michigan Supreme Court to rule that women have a constitutional right to access to health care that includes abortion.
In a statement, Governor Whitmer said, “However we personally feel about abortion, a woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions. A woman must be able to make her own medical decisions with the advice of a healthcare professional she trusts – politicians shouldn’t make that decision for her.”
In addition to the lawsuit, Whitmer also used her executive authority to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to review her lawsuit right away.
The governor’s statement also pointed out that for Michiganders, this issue is beyond settled. 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.