LANSING, Mich., Jan. 22, 2024 — Today marks the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark 7-2 Supreme Court decision that granted abortion rights for people across America. This case reaffirmed basic principles of equality, reinforced the fundamental right to privacy and assured individuals that they could control their own lives by making deeply personal decisions free from political interference.

“It is important to acknowledge the anniversary of this case — even though it’s been overturned, it stands as a call to action for pregnant-capable people in America,” said Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus. “People across the nation should have access to the reproductive health care options they need and want. These decisions belong to individuals, not the government. In Michigan, we repealed our criminal abortion ban and have expanded access to reproductive health care. The Roe decision stands as an important first step in the fight to bodily autonomy, but our work is certainly not done in Michigan.”

In June 2022, the U.S. the Supreme Court released the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. This decision upheld a Mississippi law that places a ban on abortion after 15 weeks as constitutional. By upholding this law, Roe v. Wade was overturned — giving power to regulate abortion back to the states. In Michigan, a 1931 abortion ban still sat on the books.

“People often think about abortion in a very simplified manner — not becoming a parent. In all honesty, it is much more complicated than that — I have personally faced the life-or-death health decision of whether to carry a wanted pregnancy,” said state Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Township). “Whatever the reason, it really isn’t anyone’s business, and that is what Roe stood for. The anniversary of this case is a reminder that reproductive rights decisions fall within each of our own privacy rights and that women deserve to make these decisions for themselves.”

House Democrats repealed the archaic 1931 criminal abortion ban in line with Proposal 3, which was widely approved by voters in 2022. Not only that, House Dems passed the Reproductive Health Act, which rolls back medically unnecessary and politically motivated barriers that hinder access to abortion care, better allowing Michiganders to put their health needs first.