Last Wednesday, Michigan House Democrats continued our efforts in the legislature to repeal our state’s cruel and archaic 1931 abortion ban. With no voting days scheduled before November, it was likely our last stand to try to restore women’s rights in Michigan that have rolled back 50 years.
I stood—with my hand raised—on the House floor prepared to exercise my right as a legislator to speak. I was ready to talk about the need to protect women’s reproductive freedom. But I was gaveled down and silenced by the Republican-led majority—just as the Supreme Court attempted to silence women’s voices with the overturning of Roe.
In the end, House Republicans shut down our efforts without debate or record vote, using a rare “dilatory” tactic reserved for items typically deemed a waste of time. These actions are a disservice to the people of Michigan.
The truth is the Republican-led majority has not been interested in working in a bipartisan manner with Democrats to create real change. At a time of rising costs and threats to reproductive health care, the Republican majority decided to put our full-time legislature on an extended summer break.
That means no committee meetings or testimony. No bipartisan negotiations had, and, ultimately, no legislation can be brought to the floor and voted on. Even though Republican legislators don’t want to show up in Lansing, House Democrats are still working hard to meet with our constituents and advocate for the needs of all Michiganders.
We know that families need inflation relief right now. We can start by issuing a $500 tax rebate, repealing the retirement tax so that retirees keep an extra $1,000 per year, and increasing the earned income tax credit to 20%. We also know that we need to restore Roe v. Wade so that women can make reproductive health care decisions with the doctors they trust.
The Republican House majority may think women’s rights are a waste of time. Millions of us couldn’t disagree more. The people of Michigan deserve better from our elected officials. It’s time to get back to work on the issues that matter, and my Democratic colleagues and I are ready.
Carol Glanville is a Democratic state representative in the 74th district.