Michigan lawmakers respond to end of federal abortion rights
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Supreme Court on Friday ended the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion that had stood for nearly a half-century. The decision by the court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade and is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the United States.
Michigan lawmakers reacted to the decision, which has been expected since the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion in early May. Those statements are included below.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
“Today, I filed a motion urging the court to immediately take up my lawsuit to protect abortion in Michigan. We need to clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but constitutionally protected. The urgency of the moment is clear—the Michigan court must act now,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Michigan’s extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care is poised to take effect. If the 1931 law goes into effect, it will punish women and strip away their right to make decisions about their own bodies. That is why I filed a lawsuit in April and used my executive authority to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion. I will fight like hell to protect the rights of Michigan women.”
Meshawn Maddock, Co-Chair of the Michigan Republican Party
“Today, the Supreme Court issued a historic opinion as they overturned Roe v. Wade, in a huge win for life and state rights,” Maddock said. “Life has and always will be protected by our Constitution, as proven today by the high court, and we will continue defending the most vulnerable among us here in Michigan, too. This is a cause for celebration as many innocent babies will no longer have their lives cut short and will be allowed a chance that many others were not given - life.”
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor
“Today, the US Supreme Court moved us backwards in terms of woman’s rights by striking down Roe v Wade. I never thought I would see the day when 50 years of reproductive rights and protections would be removed. While Michigan is now governed by a 1931 law completely banning abortion, there is currently a court injunction on enforcement of that law. This antiquated law must be repealed. I am thankful that Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel are moving to ensure this 1931 law is struck down and will continue to lead the fight at the state level to ensure women continue to have access to safe reproductive health care in Michigan.”
Congressman Tim Walberg
“Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for life. For years, so many of us in the pro-life movement have fought for and marched to protect the unborn, and this decision validates those tireless efforts. God’s most precious gift is that of life and it is the very first unalienable right listed in our Declaration of Independence. By overturning Roe v. Wade, our nation will have an opportunity to better live up to this foundational ideal. The Court’s decision rightly returns power to the state level, and in the days ahead, it is critical that we continue the important work of standing for the sanctity of life.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin
“Reasonable people disagree on their personal views of abortion,” said Slotkin. “In my district, many women in the past few months have told me that, while they would never personally have an abortion, they would also never dictate to other women what they must do in their own lives. That sentiment is precisely the standard that Roe has preserved for the last 50 years in our country – the freedom for women to make their own choices, based on their own circumstances. It’s also why Congress must act to codify Roe into law. There is a bill in the U.S. Senate, led by two Republican senators, that does just that, and I will continue pushing Democratic leadership to quickly move it forward.”
Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum
“Today is a dark day in our country’s history. This ruling marks one of the most egregious decisions made by such an august body, one that chooses to actively remove rights from women throughout this country. The ruling today sets women back 50 years, to a time when they did not have safe and ready access to health care and did not have autonomy over their bodies.”
Rep. Bill Huizenga
“The decision correctly restores power usurped by the courts to the states and the representatives elected by the people. While today’s announcement is historic, the pro-life movement cannot waiver in protecting these innocent lives.”
Sen. Tom Barrett
“Today, Ashley and I are reminded of the unique value of all human life. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is truly historic. While the future of abortion will now be determined by the individual states, we should all agree we have an obligation to support any woman who faces a pregnancy hardship. Let this be a call to action for us to support crisis pregnancy centers and other missions focused on life affirming pre-natal care.”
Rep. Kara Hope
“Today’s radical, partisan decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will endanger lives, and it confers second-class citizen status on women. It makes it all the more important that we finally wipe Michigan’s archaic, draconian anti-abortion law off the books. We must also work to pass state laws and to amend our state constitution to secure Michiganders’ rights to reproductive freedom. This isn’t over. I am committed to fight to protect the right to privacy and bodily autonomy that was ripped away today.”
John E. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a direct afront to the civil rights of women, creating a devastating disparate impact between their reproductive health options and reproductive health care for men. Let me be clear: this decision will not end abortion, but it will make it nearly impossible for anyone without significant resources to get one. That means many of the people whose civil rights we are mandated to protect will be the most impacted by this decision. We commend Governor Whitmer for her steadfast support for a woman’s right to choose and stand with her in the effort to protect the rights of Michigan women. We urge Governors across the nation who care about the welfare and wellbeing of women and their families to take action to protect the right to abortion within their boundaries.”
- How overturning Roe v. Wade impacts Michigan
- Justice Thomas says contraception, same-sex marriage should be reconsidered following Roe v. Wade
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