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Mich. abortion rights advocates watching SCOTUS mifepristone arguments

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks Monday at a reproductive rights roundtable in Brownstown Charter Township.
Rick Pluta
/
Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks Monday at a reproductive rights roundtable in Brownstown Charter Township.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she will be closely watching Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether FDA approval of the abortion pill mifepristone should be withdrawn.

The Democratic governor said Monday that she is concerned that a decision from the court in coming months could supersede Michigan’s reproductive rights protections, including a voter-approved 2022 amendment to the state constitution.

“The people of Michigan turned out in droves to say, hell yes, we expect to have these rights,” she told Michigan Public Radio. “All of this could be undermined by a bad decision by SCOTUS on mifepristone. Medical abortion is the way that most people access abortion.”

Whitmer ran for reelection in 2022 as a champion of abortion rights and the reproductive rights amendment following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which held the U.S. Constitution does not protect abortion rights.

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Natasha Bagdasarian
Rick Pluta
/
Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan Chief Medical Executive Natasha Bagdasarian

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian is the Michigan chief medical executive, appointed by Whitmer. She said access to other reproductive services, such as in vitro fertilization, cannot be separated from availability of mifepristone and other abortion care.

“That means you have to protect women who are experiencing non-viable pregnancies who need to terminate for another reason, because of another diagnosis or another issue that’s come up, and it needs having to protect medications like mifepristone,” she said.

Whitmer is expected to sign legislation soon to repeal Michigan’s longtime ban on surrogate pregnancy.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.