LANSING, Mich., Oct. 29, 2019 — Members of the House Democratic Caucus were joined by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other stakeholders today for the introduction of the Michigan Reproductive Health Act (RHA), which would guarantee individuals are free to make independent decisions about their own reproductive health.
The omnibus RHA bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton), would protect individual decision-making in the area of reproductive health based on what is best for their own unique situation. The RHA recognizes that when it comes to making decisions about reproductive health care, the decision should be based on medical facts, not political ideology. The legislation also repeals outdated and unconstitutional prohibitions on reproductive health care to bring it more in line with the treatment of other forms of medical care.
“A national wave of restrictive and all out bans on access to reproductive health care have swept the country. Even right here in Michigan, we have certain politicians pushing a dangerous agenda to create more barriers to accessing safe medical procedures,” said Pagan. “No two pregnancies are the same and no one needs or wants politicians making medical decisions for them. The women of Michigan are depending on us to guarantee that their personal decision-making stays private between themselves, their doctor and their families.”
In addition to Pagan’s bill, six companion bills would further update sections of state law to comply with changes the RHA would require once enacted.
“Every woman deserves access to safe, quality, affordable reproductive health care,” said Gov. Whitmer. “The RHA guarantees that people are free to make their own medical decisions, without interference from politicians. I’m proud to support this legislation and will continue to work with everyone who wants to protect every woman’s fundamental right to control her own reproductive health and ensure that options are available to women everywhere.”
In Michigan, numerous restrictions on abortion care are codified in state law, serving as barriers to access for women seeking it as a safe, constitutionally-protected health care option. Additionally, medically unnecessary and burdensome standards are imposed on abortion providers across the state in an attempt to effectively criminalize those administering the best medically-appropriate care for each of their patients’ unique circumstances.
“As a doctor, it’s my job to advocate for the health and well-being of my patients. But in Michigan, a pregnant person’s options are limited by policy, and that makes it harder to give patients the best possible care,” said Dr. Sarah Wallett, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. “People who make the decision to have an abortion should be able to access it without obstacles that do nothing to improve their care.”
Sponsors of companion bills to the RHA include state Reps. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor), Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) and Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). An RHA package was also introduced in the state Senate to mirror the package in the House.