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Whitmer waits on whether MI Supreme Court will take abortion case

The Michigan Supreme Court

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday she’s still hopeful the Michigan Supreme Court will quickly take up her legal challenge to the state’s dormant abortion law that would re-criminalize the procedure if the Roe v. Wade decision is reversed.

The case has taken on new urgency after a draft majority opinion leaked from the U.S. Supreme Court that would strike down Roe because privacy protections are not explicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution. But Whitmer, in a lawsuit filed in Oakland County a little over a month ago, argues those protections do exist in the Michigan Constitution. In a separate motion, she asked the Michigan Supreme Court to bypass lower courts and take control of the case.

“It’s my great hope that our state Supreme Court takes the case and delivers an opinion that Michigan women have this right under our state constitution,” she said following a tour of a business in Ann Arbor.

The governor is also keeping an eye on Republican-led efforts in the Legislature to restrict abortion access. One bill would ban telemedicine providers from prescribing abortion drugs. Also, a budget proposal would deny any Medicaid funds to health clinics that offer abortion services.

“At this juncture, abortion is still safe and it’s still legal in Michigan, but I am going to pull out all the stops to make sure that women in Michigan have agency over their bodies and their health care decisions.”

Whitmer also supports a ballot drive that’s currently gathering signatures to explicitly enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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