Quotable of the Year:
“I think so many of these decisions are made in a vacuum with a bunch of men sitting around a table and deciding what a woman’s rights should be, what our access to health care should be — trying to control women by controlling our bodies.”
— Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
In the last days of 2019, the Advance is running a series of our best stories from a few of the many issues we cover, from the environment to the 2020 election. With more than 2,000 stories to choose from, it was hard to pare the list down.
Here’s our roundup of our top reproductive rights stories:
In the midst of tense budget negotiations, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) sounded off against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and pro-choice advocates, comparing abortion to slavery.
President Donald Trump went all in on the big lie on infanticide in an attempt to lock down conservative support in 2020.
Former NICU nurse Julia Pulver, who’s now running for the state House, fired back at Trump on Twitter explaining the painful process that families undergo after a terminally ill baby is born.
The Advance talked to the new national head of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, about reports over internal strategy disagreements, the flood of legislation to challenge Roe v. Wade and anti-abortion petition drives in Michigan.
The Advance broke the story in January about a complaint filed against an anti-abortion group for allegedly wasting state funding. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer later vetoed funding for Real Alternatives in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
The Advance broke the story about Michigan joining a multi-state lawsuit to fight the President Trump administration’s “gag rule” regarding birth control.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a Planned Parenthood conference this spring that she believes Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Even though that would criminalize abortion in Michigan, she vowed she won’t prosecute women for having abortions, spurring Shirkey to threaten impeachment (upon which he never acted).
During Right to Life lobby Day, the GOP-controlled Legislature passed bills banning a common second trimester abortion procedure. Shortly after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she’d veto the legislation, the anti-abortion group launched a petition drive and turned in signatures this week.
Will you get to vote on one or two anti-abortion measures next year? Probably not. Under a quirk in Michigan law, the Legislature can adopt ballot measures — and the governor is powerless to stop them. It’s a technique Right to Life has used time and time again.
And Pulver wrote an explainer for the Advance on biology and abortion procedures, given the vast amount of misinformation that’s part of the political debate.