Whitmer Pens Op-Ed Piece for NY Times: I’m a Pro-Choice Governor
Today, Governor Gretchen authored an op-ed piece for the New York Times in response to the draft Supreme Court opinion that could overturn the landmark Roe V. Wade decision.
In her piece published today, Whitmer says, "I'm a pro-choice governor, and I'm not going to sit on my hands waiting for congress.
Michigan is one of 26 states that would severely limit women's access to abortions if the landmark case is struck down. If Roe is overturned, a Michigan law passed in 1931 that bans abortions in our state could once again go into effect.
What Does Whitmer's Op-Ed Piece Say?
Whitmer spoke of the lawsuit she filed last month which would strike down Michigan's 1931 law banning abortions in our state.
"Roe has been the law of the land for 49 years, nearly my entire lifetime. But it may not be the law of the land for my daughters. Many of us feared this day would come, which is why last month, I filed a lawsuit and, drawing on authority granted to me as governor, asked the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether our state constitution includes the right to access abortion.”
Whitmer goes on to draw similarities between the due process clause in Michigan's constitution and the US Constitution.
“My argument is predicated on the due process and equal protection clauses in our state constitution. The due process clause of the Michigan Constitution protects the right to abortion in the same way that the United States Constitution does per Roe, and the equal protection clause prohibits the state from adopting laws based on paternalistic justifications and overbroad generalizations about the role of women in the work force and at home. Other state constitutions, including the constitutions of Kansas, Montana, Alaska and Florida, have already been interpreted to protect the right to abortion.”
The governor goes on to express concern that overturning Roe could eventually lead to a federal ban on abortions, rendering states' laws powerless.
"Those in states where abortion is already protected at the state level, and where it will remain accessible if Roe falls, may feel protected. There is, however, a very real danger that in a few short years, with complete control of the federal levers of power, anti-choice, anti-women extremists could enact a federal abortion ban, which could abolish abortion nationally, regardless of state law. This is not theoretical — it is their endgame.”
Whitmer points out that abolishing abortion on a national level would lead to suffering and even death for some women, and she expressed concern that Michigan's African American and minority populations could be largely impacted.
"If we do not use every lever of power we have right now, or if we succumb to complacency, Americans will suffer and may die. Many will be out of sight, forgotten. Most will be poor. A sizable contingent will be women of color. We can all sense the hopelessness and despair that tens of millions of American women — our neighbors, family members and friends — are feeling. But despair is a choice, and pessimism is a luxury. We must take unprecedented steps to protect the right to choose.”
You can follow this link to read the full article.