Whitmer, Democrats propose undoing abortion restrictions


LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is joining Democratic lawmakers to support a repeal of Michigan’s abortion restrictions and regulations.

The legislation introduced Tuesday won’t advance in the Republican-led Legislature. But the Democratic governor said it’s important to advocate for the proposed Michigan Reproductive Health Act because residents “value a woman’s right to choose.”

The bills would repeal an unenforced 1931 law that bans virtually all abortions, remove a parental consent requirement and lift a 24-hour waiting period.

Some of the changes would require a supermajority in the House and Senate to pass. Backers admit they don’t have the votes, but they say it’s important to define their priorities.

“I think that it’s important that we continue to push legislation like this, that we use every tool at our disposal to protect a women’s right to choose,” Whitmer said. “I think that’s what a continuing conversation in this nation is all about. But if Michigan is going to protect all people under the law, it starts with the fundamentals that we are autonomous in our health care decisions.”

If passed, the legislation would reinforce abortion rights at a time states have passed restrictions conservatives hope will lead the Supreme Court to review Roe v. Wade.

Critics of the proposed legislation were vocal about their opposition.

“Anybody who had any doubts where (Whitmer) stood on abortion is very clear now,” Genevieve Marnon, a representative of Right to Life of Michigan told WLNS TV.

Michigan anti-abortion groups are circulating petitions to significantly restrict a common second-trimester procedure and ban abortion as early as six weeks. The Legislature could bypass Whitmer and enact the measures.

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