A month after the Democratic-controlled state legislature sent the bill to her desk, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) officially repealed the state’s abortion ban, which has been law in the state since 1931, but remained dormant while Roe was intact.
It was a really nice moment:
This comes just one day after another major abortion rights victory in the Midwest: Wisconsin voters elected Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who campaigned primarily on a promise to defend abortion rights. She defeated Dan Kelly, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice with a track record of anti-abortion positions.
As I unpack in detail here, Whitmer has been one of the most proactive governors when it comes to securing abortion rights for her constituents in response to — and preceding! — Roe’s overturn. But Michigan Democrats in general have made abortion access the face of their electoral ambitions since the federal right to the procedure was overturned by the Supreme Court this past summer. And it’s paid off.
Democrats campaigned on the promise that they’d repeal the abortion ban and were able to secure a trifecta in the state in November for the first time in 40 years. Michigan voters also approved a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to protect reproductive rights in the midterms elections, which appeared to help drive turnout.
Early last month, the state Senate approved a state House-passed bill that would wipe the law from the books. The law banned abortion in all cases, except when a pregnant person’s life was in danger.
Michigan Democrats have also used their newly secured trifecta to win other, long-sought progressive victories in the state, such as repealing the state’s union-busting “Right To Work” law. Michigan is poised to be the first state to do so in over 50 years.
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