‘You are not safe’: Elizabeth Warren warns Michigan women ahead of presidential election

By Kyle Kaminski

April 12, 2024

Abortion is protected under the state Constitution in Michigan. But Republican-led efforts to enact a nationwide abortion ban could still jeopardize those rights, US Sen. Elizabeth Warren cautioned Michiganders this week.

MICHIGAN—During a visit to Michigan on Friday, US Sen. and former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren offered a stark warning to Michigan voters ahead of the presidential election:

“You are not safe,” Warren told a group of women at a coffee shop in Royal Oak, where she met with state Sen. Mallory McMorrow and several other southeast Michigan activists.

“If Donald Trump and Republicans are put in charge, we’re all going to lose access to abortion,” she said. “Notwithstanding the fact that you have those protections for abortion in the state constitution now, Michigan women are still not safe. You are not safe in Massachusetts or Michigan or New York or California. They’re coming for all of us. They’re coming for everybody.”

Warren’s day-long visit to Michigan on Friday comes about six months before absentee ballots are set to start arriving in millions of mailboxes across the country ahead of the presidential election—and about seven months until polls open for early, in-person voting across the state.

And the stakes couldn’t be higher, Warren said.

“We not only need to show up for President Biden, but we need to make sure everyone understands what’s at stake this year—because what’s behind Door No. 2 is truly terrible,” Warren said. “Michigan is key. We recognize we’re not saving this country if we lose Michigan.”

‘They’re Coming for You’

After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the nationwide constitutional right to abortion in the summer of 2022, Michiganders quickly filled the void—including passing a ballot initiative that added abortion rights to the state constitution and state legislation that expanded access to care.

And with President Joe Biden in the White House, Whitmer behind the governor’s desk, and Democrats in charge of the US Senate and both chambers of the Michigan legislature, Michiganders’ reproductive rights have never been more protected than they are today.

But if Trump and anti-abortion Republicans manage to take control of the federal government in 2025, it will lead to sweeping, nationwide restrictions on abortion—even in Michigan where those rights are protected, Warren repeatedly warned voters while in Michigan on Friday.

“Here’s the thing: Federal law supersedes state law, and they’re coming for you,” Warren said. “They’re coming for all of us—and how do I know that? Because they’re already on the move.”

Trump has repeatedly bragged about his role in the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion for nearly five decades. And since the repeal, Republicans have repeatedly sought to pass a nationwide abortion ban.

A group of Trump-aligned conservative organizations and activists have also crafted an expansive blueprint—known as Project 2025—that lays out how they intend to leverage virtually every arm, tool, and agency of the federal government to attack abortion access, including by banning and criminalizing abortion medication without actually passing any new laws at all.

Anti-abortion groups have also signaled they intend to push for Republicans to revive enforcement of the Comstock Act of 1873—which bans the mailing of “anything designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion,”—as a way to ban medication abortion nationwide.

Read broadly, the Comstock Act could be used to not only ban medication abortion, but block shipments of medical supplies used in clinics and lead to outright abortion bans in all 50 states.

‘Not on My Watch’

Warren’s coffee shop stop in Royal Oak on Friday was wedged between a meeting with voters in Lansing earlier in the morning and an afternoon rally at a steelworkers union shop in Southfield, where she delivered a similar message to a much larger crowd of local workers.

“I’m here because Joe Biden is fighting for access to abortion, so I’m fighting for Joe Biden,” she said. “Joe Biden is fighting to cut costs for families, so I’m fighting for Joe Biden. Joe Biden is fighting to make our unions stronger. Joe Biden is fighting to save our democracy.”

The Heritage Foundation, the right-wing think-tank responsible for spearheading Project 2025, has also been a staunch anti-IVF voice for years. And while Trump now claims that he “strongly supports” IVF, his administration worked with far-right conservatives who likened IVF to murder.

Warren said she believes Republican lawmakers—if they regain control of the US Senate—wouldn’t stop with banning abortion, but also restrict IVF, birth control, and other care. And if Trump finds his way back into the Oval Office, she expects him to usher such restrictions into law.

Biden, on the other hand, has signed several executive orders to protect access to abortion (including medication abortion) and bolster access to birth control. He has also repeatedly called on Congress to restore federal protections that were lost when Roe was overturned.

“Donald Trump is directly responsible for taking away the constitutional [abortion] rights guaranteed to half of the people in this country,” Warren said. “That is Donald Trump’s legacy, and that’s why I’m here to fight. Joe Biden is taking action, and we know him by his actions.”

She added: “I’m coming to Michigan to hear you say one more time: Not on my watch.”

READ MORE: The Republican war on Medicare raises the stakes in 2024

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Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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