Whitmer and Nessel say abortion pill case is part of continued attacks on reproductive rights

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a press conference on Dec. 14, 2022. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

By Michigan Advance

March 27, 2024


MICHIGAN—As justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes case that could limit access to a common pharmaceutical used in both medication abortion and miscarriage care, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel blasted any attempt to restrict mifepristone.

“If the anti-reproductive freedom majority on SCOTUS bans mifepristone, or reimposes medically unnecessary restrictions on its use, it will impede access to the most commonly used method of abortion for every woman in American. Even in states where abortion rights are protected like Michigan, the decision would severely limit people’s right to make one of the most important decisions about their family in consultation with their doctor,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Michigan voters approved Proposal 3 in 2022 guaranteeing the right to abortion in the constitution following a June US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in the mifepristone case could have implications nationwide. The Democratic governor called it part of “a nationwide assault on our reproductive health.”

Nessel, who’s also a Democrat, issued a statement on behalf of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign slamming his likely opponent, former President Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump and his MAGA allies will stop at nothing to ban abortion and restrict reproductive health care access nationwide. We can’t forget that Trump appointed the judge who ruled to ban abortion medication and nominated the justices who cast the deciding votes to overturn Roe v. Wade—and he’s promising a national abortion ban if he’s reelected. In 2022, Michiganders overwhelmingly supported abortion access, enshrining the right to reproductive freedom in our constitution, but Donald Trump could wipe away that progress and rip away our reproductive rights here in Michigan.”

Nessel said that “reproductive health care is on the ballot again this November. ”

Meanwhile hundreds of protesters gathered outside the US Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Police forces for the US Capitol and Supreme Court established metal fencing to largely separate demonstrators who support and oppose abortion, though verbal confrontations were common away from the barriers.

The Women’s March dubbed its organized rally, “Bans Off Our Mife” and featured speakers and signs protesting the case brought to the high court by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a conservative group formed in 2022 that aims to reverse government approval of the medication abortion pill mifepristone.

Several other organizations were represented, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Reproductive Freedom For All, formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Lauranne Oliveau of Lovettsville, Virginia, said she took the train to Washington to protest the case.

“I am 69 years old, and I can’t believe we’re still fighting this [expletive],” Oliveau said. “If Roe had never passed, I would be the mother of a child of a rapist.”

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, outlawing the federal right to an abortion and triggering a patchwork of state laws, including bans in some states.

Groups including the Alliance for Defending Freedom and Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising demonstrated in support of the case that could potentially limit the US Food and Drug Administration’s authority to approve pharmaceuticals.

Gabriel Chambers, a 20-year-old student from Louisville, Kentucky who now studies at George Mason University in Virginia, read aloud from the “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise,” published by the Heritage Foundation. The book details a roadmap for a conservative administration to severely restrict or ban remaining abortion policies.

“Congress should pass Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act, which would accomplish the goal of defunding Planned Parenthood,” Chambers read out loud while pointing to the pages relating to abortion.

READ MORE: Supreme Court hears oral arguments in major abortion access case

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 



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