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Nearly 2.2 Million Michiganders Could Lose Access to Legal Abortion

Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda released new research showing that nearly 2.2 million women of reproductive age, and even more people who can become pregnant, could lose abortion access in Michigan if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

According to the Red Alert Report, abortion access is at risk in 26 states that are home to nearly half of the women of reproductive age (18-49) in the United States — more than 36 million women.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court turned its back on nearly 50 years of precedent, allowing Texas’s six-week abortion ban to take effect and rendering Roe v. Wade effectively meaningless for many Texans. On December 1st, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in which Mississippi and others have asked the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would put abortion access at risk across the nation. These cases pose a crisis-level threat to safe, legal abortion in our country.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, abortion could quickly be banned in Michigan, as a 1931 law making abortion illegal is still on the books. Already, abortion is a right in name only for far too many people. Because of burdensome waiting periods and laws stopping insurers from covering abortion, many people struggle to access abortion. These restrictions fall hardest on Black, Latino, and Indigenous Michiganders, people with low incomes, and people living in rural areas.

Statement from Lori Carpentier, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan “These are scary times. More than 2 million Michigan women – and countless more pregnant-capable people – could lose access to abortion if Roe is struck down. For three years, we’ve been protected by our governor; but as the report shows, because we have this 1931 law on the books, we are in danger of abortion being banned in Michigan – and the only way to stop that is to repeal the law. “We are so grateful for Governor Whitmer’s leadership and for her commitment to doing what’s right for our patients and the tens of thousands of people each year who decide to have an abortion. We hope that the events in Texas and the findings of this report show folks just how serious this threat is, and motivates them to protect their rights.”

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“The threat to the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion has never been greater. Politicians and protesters have worked for decades to ban abortion —– pushing harsher restrictions, cutting access to care, and stacking federal courts with nominees hostile to reproductive rights. Now, with abortion all but banned in Texas, we’re seeing the reality millions more could soon face: patients traveling hundreds of miles to get care, having to pay more for travel and lodging, and being forced to be pregnant longer. For many, this means they won’t be able to get an abortion at all. We need the U.S. Senate to take immediate action to protect abortion access in Texas and across the country by passing the Women's Health Protection Act

—– now. And we need elected officials, at all levels of government, to stop trying to control our health care decisions and advance protections for abortion access. The right for people to control their own body and decisions is at stake. Planned Parenthood and our 17 million supporters aren’t going to back down.” Statement from Marcela Howell, President & CEO of In Our Own Voice (IOOV):

“As Black women and pregnant people, our fight has never been about the right to abortion care, it has always been about combating the federal and state barriers that prevent us from accessing the full range of reproductive care, including abortion. We urge Congress to support the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, a document that addresses issues like abortion access and calls for systemic change to truly make the United States a place where Black women and their families can live and thrive.” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also joined PPFA President & CEO Alexis McGill Johnson in a national press call outlining this report and what’s at stake for tens of millions of women and people who can get pregnant. When the Red Alert Report was last published in 2018, 20 states were primed to ban access to safe, legal abortion should Roe fall, impacting 25 million women of reproductive age. Now just three years later, 26 states could quickly move to ban abortion— putting at least 11 million more women, trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people at risk of losing access. According to Planned Parenthood’s analysis, the states at highest risk for completely banning abortion are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In these states, abortion bans could quickly be implemented after, or even immediately triggered by, a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Even in states with constitutional protections (Florida, Iowa, and Montana) and supportive governors (Michigan and Wisconsin), abortion is at risk due to hostile legislatures, pre-Roe bans, and changing judicial benches. Tomorrow, on October 2, people across the country will participate in a national day of action to Rally for Abortion Justice. More than 190 organizations are supporting the day of action, which will feature more than 600 events across the country. For a list of rallies in Michigan, click here.

Background information from the report:

In 2021 alone, nearly 600 abortion restrictions have been introduced nationwide, with 90 enacted into law — more than in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided. Abortion restrictions already harm Black, Latino, and Indigenous people most, and these communities stand to lose the most if Roe is overturned. This is the direct result of historic racism, ongoing white supremacy, and coercive reproductive policies in our country. Systemic racism in the U.S. health care system creates substantial barriers to accessing care. For instance, women of color are more likely than white women to live in poverty and have limited access to health care, due to the expense, as well as discriminatory public policy. For many communities of color, abortion is already out of reach, or nearly so.

The breakdown of who could lose abortion access highlights the stark disparities for people of color and people with low incomes in our country. According to the report, the 36 million women, and more trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people who would lose access to abortion if Roe is overturned include 5.3 million Black people, 5.7 million Hispanic or Latino people, 1.1 million Asian people, and nearly 340,000 American Indian or Alaska Native people of reproductive age (American Community Survey 2019). The vast majority of abortion patients, 75%, are people with low incomes, 49% earn below the federal poverty level (a family of two earning an annual income of $15,730 or less).


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