Laws making reproductive health care more accessible and affordable in Michigan
House Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus, speaks during the Reproductive Health Act signing ceremony at Schoolcraft College in Livonia on Nov. 21, 2023.
LIVONIA, Mich., Nov. 21, 2023 — Governor Gretchen Whitmer the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) bills into law, today — House Bills 4951, 4953, 4954, 4955 and 4956, alongside Senate Bills 474, 476 and 477. This historic day marks a new era for Michigan health care. The RHA rolls back medically unnecessary and politically motivated barriers that hinder access to abortion care, now better allowing Michiganders to put their needs first.
“Today is another historic day for reproductive freedom here in Michigan. In January, I sponsored House Bill 4006 to repeal the archaic 1931 abortion ban; it was only natural after the repeal took place that I continue my efforts to break down years of politically-driven bureaucratic restrictions that hamper abortion rights,” said Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus and spearhead of the RHA bills. “Elections across the country, like the recent success in Ohio, illustrate that the majority of voters support safe, accessible abortion. This is happening all while lawmakers on the other side of the aisle have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to override the will of voters, showing their disregard for the democratic process. Michigan Democrats respect voters and brought their will to fruition today by removing the red tape that continues to disturb, or in some cases halt, their access to this health care and right.”
“Plain and simple, reproductive health care is not a crime,” said state Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt), member of the Progressive Women’s Caucus and sponsor of HB 4951. “My bill ensures that Michiganders can feel safe to make the decision that is right for them. Other bills in this package eliminate targeted regulation of abortion providers laws, also known as TRAP laws.”
“It has been a long road to get here,” said state Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Township), sponsor of HB 4953. “As a person who personally experienced barriers to reproductive healthcare amidst a medical emergency, the critical rights to access that these bills represent cannot be understated. This package of bills was carefully created with stakeholders, the public and experts. We addressed the needs of Michiganders and are ensuring reproductive rights are accessible — it starts today.”
“These bills becoming law today aren’t just about reproductive health, they’re about every Michigander’s wellbeing and improved health outcomes,” said state Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township), member of the Caucus and sponsor of HB 4954. “Health care decisions are personal. That journey becomes less personal when a choice isn’t feasible due to webs of restrictions. Michiganders should rest easy knowing that their decision is truly theirs!”
“As a person of faith, I’m proud to sponsor this package that recognizes each person’s right to make decisions about their own bodies,” said state Rep. Natalie Price (D-Berkley), PWC secretary and sponsor of HB 4955, “Michigan’s voters agree. No one wants politicians interfering with these uniquely personal and spiritual decisions.”
“As a practicing health care provider, I understand the importance of protecting access to reproductive health services, including abortion. I’m thankful the legislature and Governor Whitmer have heard the call from Michigan voters to remove barriers to accessing reproductive health care,” said state Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), member of the Caucus, chair of the House Health Policy Committee and sponsor of HB 4956. “Today we are taking an important step forward in restoring individuals’ freedoms while improving access to safe care.”