FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2019
Contact: Lara Chelian, [email protected], 734-713-0548
Contact: Julien Martinez, [email protected], 347-229-2517

As Supreme Court takes aim at Roe v. Wade, Gov. Whitmer supports passage of Reproductive Health Act to repeal dozens of unconstitutional state abortion laws

LANSING, MI – Today, the Michigan State Legislature introduced legislation to fully guarantee every person the fundamental right to make individual decisions about their own reproductive health care. If signed into law, the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) – supported by Governor Gretchen Whitmer – will ensure each person the right to abortion care, even if the Supreme Court repeals or guts Roe v. Wade, and includes protections for those making personal decisions on contraception. Introduction of the RHA follows a statewide billboard campaign launched last year by RECLAIM Michigan and the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) designed to spotlight outdated laws that would punish doctors who provide abortion care.

“For the past year, we’ve worked with Michiganders throughout the state to raise awareness about the archaic laws that threaten to punish doctors who provide abortion care. Today, Governor Whitmer and legislators proved to us that they believe in protecting our fundamental right to making our own medical decisions,” said Lara Chelian, President of the Board of Directors of RECLAIM. “Today marks the first step to ensuring that our outdated laws will be repealed and that Michigan residents can receive the reproductive health care they deserve. I urge the legislature to move forward and codify the right to safe and legal abortion care.”

“This is a historic day for Michigan and for those fighting for reproductive freedom around the country, especially as the federal government and hostile state legislatures take aim at access to abortion care. Today, Michigan has made it clear – people have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives and futures, without the interference of politicians,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “I thank Governor Whitmer and the RHA’s sponsors for stating once and for all that abortion should be available and accessible, without shame, pressure or punishment, and I urge the state legislature to move quickly to pass this bill.”

RECLAIM’s and NIRH’s multi-city billboard campaign was launched in 2018 to raise awareness about Michigan’s outdated abortion ban and included billboards in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Detroit highlighting a 1931 state law that would punish doctors if Roe were overturned.

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The mission of RECLAIM is to fuel individuals and communities to RECLAIM their dignity around, confidence in, and support of abortion and reproductive rights. RECLAIM engages in advocacy and public education to provide accurate and thoughtful information on reproductive health in culture and society.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. Using a partnership model, NIRH provides state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. In 2018, NIRH is working with state and local advocates to advance reproductive freedom in 23 states; to date, NIRH has partnered with more than 170 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 43 states and 64 localities across the country.