Legislation sponsored by Anthony, Chang, Geiss and Cavanagh will improve access to reproductive healthcare, affirm rights of all Michiganders
LANSING, Mich. (October 19, 2023) — Today, the Michigan Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bills 474–477. The legislation, sponsored respectively by Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D- Redford Twp.), will protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for Michiganders statewide.
The Reproductive Health Act includes repealing medically unnecessary regulations, such as current stringent building requirements that have nothing to do with actual patient care. The bills also remove reporting requirements and administrative burdens that are not placed on any other healthcare providers. These restrictions, which were intentionally woven throughout Michigan’s laws in the past, have made the process of affirming everyone’s right to reproductive freedom challenging.
“In passing the Reproductive Health Act, our caucus has affirmed and uplifted many Michigan residents, especially those in marginalized and underserved communities. I am proud that this legislation reflects the true needs and interests of advocates and constituents,” said Sen. Anthony. “The issue of reproductive freedom has been overly politicized for way too long. Now, we must return the power of personal choice into the hands of the people — where it belonged all along.”
“For too long, Michigan’s laws on abortion were based on partisan talking points, not real-life experiences or accurate medical guidance,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “But voters made it clear that, while opinions may differ, we share a belief in the right for individuals to make these important decisions themselves. Today, we’re affirming people’s right to determine their own path while also cutting through the unnecessary red tape that only served to punish patients, medical providers, and their clinics.”
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, nearly 2.5 million Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022 — making it abundantly clear how Michiganders felt about reproductive freedom. The Reproductive Health Act better aligns Michigan’s laws with the new reproductive health protections in Michigan’s constitution and the repeal of the 1931 abortion ban passed by Senate Democrats earlier this year.
“As the new majority, our work must include dismantling unnecessary barriers to reproductive healthcare. At the end of the day, reproductive healthcare is healthcare,” said Sen. Chang. “For decades, restrictions were intentionally placed within Michigan’s laws and have impeded the process of affirming everyone’s right to reproductive freedom. These bills are based on scientific facts and are not informed by misguided opinions of a small demographic — they’re inclusive and representative of our state.”
“I firmly believe that those who can become pregnant deserve to be given the power and freedom to make their own medical decisions, without outside judgment or interference,” said Sen. Geiss. “The Reproductive Health Act sends a powerful message that we are serious about protecting the rights of all Michiganders — regardless of their gender, race, income, or ZIP code. This legislation ensures that legal loopholes do not infringe upon their rights any further.”
The Reproductive Health Act is a comprehensive package of bills that have received support from various stakeholders, medical experts and reproductive health advocates. Previous iterations of Reproductive Health Act bills were introduced in earlier sessions, and the bills passed today incorporated feedback from constituents and the diverse perspectives they hold.
“Supporting Michigan students and promoting both information and education regarding their reproductive healthcare choices is vital. Allowing colleges and universities to provide referrals for abortion services in pregnant and parenting student services offices is an essential part of that support,” said Sen. Cavanagh. “Every Michigander deserves access to all the resources necessary to make an informed decision about their reproductive health without unnecessary restriction, and this legislation expands that accessibility.”