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Abortion rights fight likely to be significant part of Michigan governor's race

Posted at 6:15 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 18:15:22-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the public to sign petitions being circulated that aim to let voters decide whether abortions should be legal in Michigan.

The effort comes after the leak from the U.S. Supreme Court revealing it is poised to overturn Roe V. Wade. If Roe V. Wade is overturned, there is a 1931 Michigan law that would go into effect outlawing abortion unless a woman’s life is at risk.

“If the Supreme Court does what it looks like they are poised to do, overnight we will go from being a pro-choice state where women have full access to health care, to a state with one of the most extreme laws in the country,” said Whitmer.

The governor spoke during a press conference on a new program aiming to get more people access to banking in Detroit. She responded to questions on the potential overturning of Roe V. Wade, saying she is fighting to stop that from happening with a lawsuit. The suit asks the state Supreme Court to rule the state law violates the state constitution.

“I am going to fight like hell to protect this right for women in the State of Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer.

“She was farsighted in filing that lawsuit in the first place. I think the great majority of people in this state want that right preserved,” said Mayor Mike Duggan (D-Detroit)

“She is just trying to play politics,” countered Michael Brown, one of ten GOP candidates for governor.

Michigan State Police Captain Michael Brown says it is no coincidence the governor filed this lawsuit now, as we face an election. If elected he says he will advocate for limited exceptions to a ban on abortions.

“I have been very clear since I got in this campaign that I am pro-life with three exceptions and those are very rare. Life of the mother and rape or incest. Those are my exceptions for abortions,” said Brown.

He also says he will respect the legislature, as they represent the people, on whether those exceptions are enacted.

“It will be up to the people’s representatives to debate the sanctity of life for unborn children,” said Brown.

Other candidates echo his support for a ban on abortions.

Gubernatorial GOP Candidate Perry Johnson’s campaign released a statement saying in part, “Perry Johnson, channeling our country’s founding fathers, understands that the right to life comes from God—not government.”

GOP Candidate Tudor Dixon shared a statement offering women considering an abortion a message, saying quote “You can do it. You can have a brilliant and distinguished career and be a wonderful mother. You can support your children.”