House Democrats introduce plan to repeal abortion ban with Whitmer's support

by

comment
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - TOM PERKINS
  • Tom Perkins
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

With the support of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan House Democrats announced on Tuesday that they will introduce a plan to protect abortion access for women in Michigan by repealing abortion restrictions.

The plan, called the Reproductive Health Care Act, consists of several bills that propose to repeal a 1931 abortion ban law, lift a 24-hour waiting period before someone is able to get an abortion, do away with a ban on abortions qualifying for private insurance coverage, and repeal the need for minors to obtain parental consent for an abortion, among other stipulations. It would also lift barriers to federal and state funding to Planned Parenthood and other health care providers, as well as repeal the requirement for abortion clinics to function as free-standing outpatient surgical facilities.



"In states across the nation, we’ve seen relentless attacks on women’s health," state Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton, said at the unveiling. "We must be proactive in upholding health care access for women in Michigan.”

A large portion of the bills would require a two-thirds vote because they involve repealing either constitutional amendments or initiatives approved by voters. Two-thirds support is an unlikely outcome, as the legislature is controlled by Republicans who are against abortion.



Gretchen Whitmer expressed support for the plan at its unveiling.

"We are acutely aware of how gerrymandered this legislature is and that this is an uphill battle, but that doesn't mean you don't fight it," Whitmer said. "It's important that we continue to push legislation like this and use every tool at our disposal to protect a woman's right to choose."

Michigan is not alone in attempting to protect abortion access, as New York, Oregon Rhode Island, Vermont, and Illinois have all enacted similar bills.

On the other side of the aisle, Michigan Right to Life is currently working on gathering signatures for a ballot proposal to ban dilation and evacuation, a second-trimester procedure. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition is embarking on another petition drive — one that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Around the country, more than 40 states have introduced bills that would restrict abortion access, and abortion opponents on a larger scale ultimately have their eyes set on overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court case that legalized a woman’s right to elect to have an abortion.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.