Legislation ensures medical decisions stay with patients and doctors, eliminates politically-motivated barriers to reproductive healthcare
LANSING, Mich. (November 7, 2023) — Today, the Michigan Senate finalized the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bills 474, 476 and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4951 and 4953–4956, which will protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for Michiganders statewide. The Senate bills are sponsored respectively by Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.).
The Reproductive Health Act includes repealing medically unnecessary regulations that are only imposed upon abortion care and facilities, such as 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.
“Since the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, it is incumbent upon us at the state level to ensure all Michiganders, especially those in marginalized and underserved communities, have access to reproductive healthcare,” said Sen. Anthony. “By finalizing the Reproductive Health Act today, we are placing the power of personal choice back into the hands of the people — protecting current and future generations’ reproductive freedom.”
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.
“Michiganders deserve the autonomy, power and freedom to make their own medical decisions without needless interference from those without experience or expertise on the matter,” said Sen. Geiss. “With the finalization of the Reproductive Health Act, we are making real progress to ensure that people who can become pregnant do not have their rights infringed upon and instead have the freedom to reliably access the reproductive healthcare they rightfully deserve.”
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 finalized today incorporated feedback from constituents and the diverse perspectives they hold.
“Every Michigander should have access to the resources required to make informed decisions about their health,” said Sen. Cavanagh. “The Reproductive Health Act allows and encourages colleges and universities to share accurate information about reproductive healthcare. By empowering institutions of higher education to provide these resources, we are ensuring Michigan residents are knowledgeable and prepared to thoughtfully exercise their reproductive freedom.”