All eyes are on Michigan’s gubernatorial race; the outcome will determine whether Michiganders have the right to make their own personal health care decisions or be forced to travel hundreds of miles to receive essential lifesaving care. The choice could not be more clear: Gretchen Whitmer is a proven champion of reproductive rights, and will continue to do everything in her power to ensure Michiganders have access to safe, legal abortion care. Tudor Dixon doesn’t trust us to make our own decisions about our bodies and families. She’s determined to push her extreme views on all of us, with absolutely no regard for our freedom or safety.
For the first time, we have two women vying for the Michigan Governor’s seat. Though what should be a momentous milestone for gender equity, is clouded by the complete polar opposition of these candidates on the topics of equality, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive health care – including abortion.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Incumbent
Governor Whitmer is a tireless fighter for abortion access at a time when we most need leadership. Gretchen Whitmer vowed to use “every tool in her toolbox” to protect access to reproductive health care, including abortion. She has followed through on that promise, using her veto pen, executive powers and lawsuits to fight back against threats to abortion access and reproductive health.
We know that anti-abortion politicians in the Michgian legislature are hellbent on taking away the reproductive rights of Michiganders, including efforts to implement a pre-Roe ban that would criminalize nearly all abortion in the state. Gov. Whitmer is the only one who can stand up to their attacks. With Roe overturned, the governor’s veto, as well as her efforts to block the pre-Roe ban, are powerful and crucial backstops against relentless legislative attacks on abortion.
Whitmer’s Record on Reproductive Rights:
Whitmer has been a stalwart for abortion rights in Michigan, often in direct opposition to the GOP legislature, noting that “for three and a half years, the threat of my veto is what has kept Michigan pro-choice.”
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Whitmer declared that she will “fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust” and that “now is the time to use every tool in our toolbox to protect women and reproductive health care.”
August 1: Governor Whitmer filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of the state’s extreme 1931 law, which criminalizes abortion, without exceptions for rape or incest, and punishes doctors and nurses who provide abortion care.
April 7: Filed a lawsuit to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s constitution protects the right to an abortion.
April 7: Penned an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press, explaining her action and highlighting that 7 in 10 Michiganders support the rights affirmed by Roe.
May 3: Joined 16 other states to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and enshrine Roe’s protections in federal law.
May 9: Penned an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why she isn’t waiting for Congress to act and urging fellow governors, state representatives, private businesses, and citizens to take action to protect reproductive rights.
May 25: Signed an executive directive instructing state of Michigan departments and agencies to identify and assess opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare, such as contraception. The executive directive also instructs departments not to cooperate with or assist authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided.
June 23: Launched a new consumer website to educate Michiganders about the availability of no-cost contraception with most insurance plans.
June 24: On the day of the Dobbs decision, filed a motion urging the Court to immediately consider her lawsuit.
June 27: Followed up with an additional notice to the Court urging them to immediately consider her lawsuit.
June 29: Sent a letter to Michigan’s insurers urging them to take steps to ensure Michiganders have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.
July 6: Joined with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public effort to educate Michiganders and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion. The public effort will disseminate information about the differences between medication abortion and emergency contraception to all local health departments throughout Michigan, health care providers throughout the state, and the public.
July 7: Called on the federal government to clarify and protect Michiganders’ right to cross the U.S.-Canada border to seek reproductive health care or prescription medication including medication abortion.
July 11: Urged President Biden to make birth control available over the counter without a prescription.
July 13: Signed an executive order refusing to extradite women or health care providers who come to Michigan seeking reproductive freedom.
July 22: Called on the FDA to reduce barriers to medication abortion.
August 1: Secured a restraining order blocking certain county prosecutors from enforcing the 1931 abortion ban after a court cleared a path for them to do so earlier on the same day.
August 3: Went to court to defend the restraining order and won.
August 4: Filed renewed request with Michigan Supreme Court to protect right to abortion.
August 4: Submitted legal brief to prevent enforcement of extreme 1931 abortion ban.
The choice could not be more clear: Gretchen Whitmer is a proven champion of reproductive rights, and will continue to do everything in her power to ensure Michiganders have access to safe, legal abortion care.
Tudor Dixon, Challenger
Tudor Dixon is an extreme, dangerous politician who would ban abortion in Michigan. Dixon celebrated the end of Roe v Wade and plans to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the pregnant person. She doesn’t care about us; she will stop at nothing to take away our rights to further her own radical political agenda.
Dixon’s Anti-Abortion Record:
Dixon opposes abortion and does not support exemptions for rape or incest or health of the pregnant person, saying “I am a pro-life candidate – no exceptions.”
Dixon has said a 14 year-old who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted by a relative is “perfect example” of why she supports abortion bans.
Dixon supports reinstatement of Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban — one of the strictest in the country — calling it a “good law. Under this extreme ban, almost all abortions would be considered a felony with a possible penalty of up to four years in prison.
Dixon celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade and spoke directly to people who will be forced to give birth in Michigan in a press release, saying: “You will find a way to do it all because you are strong, capable women. An unmatchable inner strength inside you will be unleashed the moment you hold that baby in your arms for the very first time. It may be hard. It may even be an awful circumstance [...] “But I promise you this, the deepest love you have ever felt will come over you when that baby wraps its little hand around your finger, knowing you are mom.”
Dixon is an inflammatory, right-wing media personality who most recently worked with Real America’s Voice, the network which carries former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s conspiracy-fueled show.
Dixon’s anti-abortion rights rhetoric has drawn criticism from doctors, who derided her for going against “medical science, evidence, and healthcare” to uplift her own illogical political agenda.