Legislation removes barriers to constitutionally protected health care
LANSING, Mich., Nov. 1, 2023 —The bill package known as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) passed the House today. The legislation serves to repeal many medically unnecessary and harmful regulations, known as TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws, that create barriers to abortion. Since gaining majority this year, House Democrats have delivered on their commitment to upholding the will of the voters who passed Proposal 3 by repealing the draconian 1931 law and passing the RHA.
Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus, has been a longtime and staunch advocate for legislation to repeal and update Michigan’s outdated and unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion. Her advocacy has focused on ensuring abortion care remains not only legal, but also accessible, affordable and safe for all Michiganders.
“We have made monumental strides today for reproductive rights and freedoms for the people of Michigan. We are in a new era as a country on the topic of abortion. Quite frankly, I hope the passage of the RHA makes it clear that when it comes to what people can and cannot do regarding their reproductive health — it’s nobody’s business but that of the patient and their team of medical professionals,” said Pohutsky, sponsor of House Bill 4949.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, which allowed states to ban abortion, 22 million Americans have lost access to this essential health care option. Prolonged waits at clinics where abortion services are available have become quickly overtaxed resources for care due to demand.
Under the leadership of Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit), House Democrats have introduced an array of legislation to improve the health and well-being of Michiganders this legislative session — now including the RHA policies.
“I am grateful we have had the opportunity to answer the will of Michigan voters,” Tate said. “We heard from constituents loud and clear last year, and now we’ve put stronger policies in place that protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals to make medical decisions on their own, with informed, trusted medical providers. We will continue working hard to keep putting people first.”