Abortion is an essential part of full-spectrum reproductive health care. Meaningful access to abortion is also fundamental to pregnant people’s liberty, equality, and economic security. One in four women will need an abortion in her lifetime. Everyone, no matter where they live or their financial means, should have access to abortion when they need it in their communities without stigma, shame, or barriers.
But abortion access is in an unprecedented crisis moment because, on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court callously took away our federal constitutional right to abortion—a right that has been fundamental to our society for nearly 50 years. The impact of overturning our right to abortion has been immediate: within days of the decision, multiple states enacted total bans on abortion, and anti-abortion extremist lawmakers in other states proposed laws to criminalize those who provide abortions, those who seek them, and anyone who helps another person obtain one as well as restrict travel to access abortion care. Since June, 17 million women and counting lost access to abortion. Nearly half of states are expected to ban abortion.
Banning abortion will ultimately mean that some people will not be able access abortion care and will be forced to carry their pregnancies to term. There will be lifelong consequences for them and their families. Denying a pregnant person an abortion creates economic hardship and insecurity and health consequences that lasts for years. These impacts will be felt most by women of color, and those who have low-incomes, and people who already face challenges in accessing health care—the people who often lack job security and paid leave. This is especially key for Michiganders. Michigan has one of the highest death rates among Black pregnant people in the country. Moreover, many Michiganders of color, particularly Black and Indigenous Michiganders, live with reduced access to health care, fewer financial resources, less access to stable housing, and more food insecurity.
Michigan’s women and all pregnant people, especially those of color, need elected leaders who work to address systemic poverty, expand and protect access to abortion care and contraception, and safeguard high-quality care before, during, and after pregnancy. It has never been more critical that lawmakers act boldly and swiftly to guarantee reproductive freedom.
Policies candidates & lawmakers should support:
1.Guarantee the right to reproductive freedom, which includes the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth, in-state and nationwide.
2.Ensure that everyone, no matter where they live or their financial means, has access to health care—including abortion care, contraceptives, and maternal health care—free from stigma, barriers, and restrictions, when they need it, in their communities.
3.Make sure quality pregnancy supports are accessible, affordable, and culturally competent for all—including protections and supports that advance the maternal health of Black and Indigenous women and pregnant people in Michigan.
Questions to ask candidates:
1.Given the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and as states continue to ban abortion, how have you—or how will you—work to protect and expand access to abortion?
2.Will you commit to protecting pregnant people and those who help them, including abortion providers, abortion funds, and others?
3.What will you do to guarantee our policies and budgets ensure affordable and available reproductive health care, including birth control, abortion care, and pre- and postpartum care?
4.How have you advocated for women and pregnant people of color in Michigan? Will you commit to advancing policies and programs that improve the health outcomes of Michigan’s Black and Indigenous women and pregnant people, without undermining access to other reproductive health care?
5.What are you doing to learn about what is happening in Michigan for people who are seeking reproductive health care and those who are trying to support them? How are you making sure their needs are being reflected in the policies you support?