LANSING — Members of the Progressive Women’s Caucus introduced House Resolution 229 and Senate Resolution 121 today in recognition of the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, 1973. The court set precedent when it ruled that the U.S. Constitution safeguards a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions, and that government should not intrude in the most private and personal family matters.
“This historic ruling 45 years ago solidified the common-sense notion that every person should have access to comprehensive health care, including vital reproductive health care services,” said state Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton), the sponsor of the House resolution. “Having the freedom to access this legal medical procedure is critical for a woman’s health, economic security and her ability to participate equally in society. Instead of limiting health care options, we need solutions that allow a woman to make the best reproductive health decisions based on her individual circumstances.”
Despite the 45 years of precedent set by Roe v. Wade, Michigan law has chipped away at a woman’s access to abortion over the years. Successful efforts to limit a woman’s access to this legal medical procedure have included requiring that a minor receive parental consent before receiving an abortion; requiring a woman seeking an abortion to obtain state-directed counseling and wait 24 hours before receiving the procedure; and even requiring a woman purchase an additional insurance rider, commonly referred to as “rape insurance,” in the event that she may need to access an abortion in the future.
“Despite the attacks on reproductive health care here in Michigan, the PWC has continued to defend and promote a woman’s freedom to choose what her life will look like, which requires having access to necessary reproductive health services such as abortion,” said state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), chairwoman of the PWC. “The Roe v. Wade decision has emboldened generations of women to stand firm in their ability to make their own medical decisions, and it could not be a greater honor to support this resolution today.”
“When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether and when to become a parent, it is not the place of politicians to interfere,” said state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor), sponsor of the Senate resolution. “As we come together this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of last year’s historic Women’s March, it is critical that we solidify our commitment to providing women with access to safe, affordable and high-quality reproductive health care services, not only here in Michigan but throughout the country.”