Whitmer says she will veto abortion bills as Right to Life prepares petition

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she will veto legislation backed by Republicans in Michigan to ban dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortions, but supporters of the bills are preparing a petition if she does. .

Speaking at an event in Lansing, Whitmer said she would not support House and Senate legislation that would define the procedure as ‘dismemberment abortion’ and prohibit it, making it a felony. two years for a doctor to do one unless it was to save the mother’s life.

“I think these are decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor,” Whitmer said. “I have always supported a woman’s autonomy and freedom to make her own choices, and that should come as no surprise to anyone in this city.”

Whitmer’s comments came after the Senate voted 22-16 along partisan lines on Senate Bills 229 and 230, sponsored by Senators Tom Barrett, R-Potterville and Kimberly LaSata, R-Bainbridge Twp., and shortly before the House is set to take up similar legislation, House Bills 4320 and 4321.

Right to Life of Michigan spokesman Chris Gast said the organization hopes Whitmer will reconsider its decision, but noted the group will launch a voting initiative on the issue if it ends up vetoing the legislation.

“We applaud our pro-life leaders in the Legislature for passing these bills to end dismemberment,” he said in an email. “If Governor Whitmer follows through on his threat, we plan to collect 400,000 signatures to bypass it and end late dismemberment abortions in Michigan. “

If Right to Life met the signature threshold required as part of the legislative initiative process, Whitmer would not have to sign the measure. Instead, the measure would become law immediately if approved by both houses of the legislature.

The procedure in question is often performed during the second trimester of a pregnancy. The issue ran along partisan lines in the Legislature, with Republican supporters calling the legislation “reasonable restrictions” on abortion while Democrats said the bills would remove one of the more options. available to terminate a pregnancy at this time.

At the committee level, House bills were supported by Right to Life of Michigan and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They are opposed by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, the American Civil Liberty Union, and the Michigan Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said in a statement that state lawmakers should not criminalize doctors for doing their jobs.

“These are complex and complicated decisions and should be made by the best informed and expert people – the women themselves in consultation with their doctors,” she said. “Politicians are not doctors.”


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