Supreme Court Abortion Rights Ruling is Chance to Build Momentum in Michigan
Monday will go down in history as day of celebration. In a total victory for reproductive freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decisive ruling on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important abortion rights case before the high court in over 20 years.
But of course in Michigan, the big question is: How does the Supreme Court's decision affect abortion access in our state?
Here's what you should know: Michigan is one of 26 states that has a law on the books similar to Texas', legislation collectively known as TRAP laws—short for "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers." Michigan's TRAP law, House Bill 5711, imposes expensive and medically unnecessary licensing requirements on abortion providers.
The Supreme Court's 5-3 decision struck down two dangerous TRAP laws in Texas: the mandate that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals and the requirement that abortion clinics be outfitted as mini-hospitals.
The Court's decision on Monday affirmed what we have always known—that TRAP laws are sham laws meant to shut down clinics and prevent a woman who has decided to end a pregnancy from getting the care she needs. Despite this, however, states that have TRAP laws in place still are accountable to prove that these laws truly protect women's health.
Essentially, the decision sets a strong national precedent that demands facts and data over ideology and rhetoric. The Supreme Court's message was clear: States do not have the right to pass laws without any medical justification that make it incredibly difficult—if not impossible—for a woman to access abortion care.
The decision sends a crystal clear message to the Michigan Legislature that lawmakers can no longer hide behind sham rationales just to make it harder for a woman who has decided to have an abortion to get one. We hope that our own politicians will hear that message. They should now understand that these restrictions are not just unpopular they are unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, we don't expect that those who oppose a woman's right to make her own decisions to give up without a fight. For this reason, we all have to work together to ensure that politicians hear our voices and repeal these restrictions and move forward with policies that support women and families.
Whole Woman's Health reaffirmed the promise of Roe v. Wade by recognizing that the Constitution protects not only the theoretical right to abortion, but the right of a woman—no matter where she lives—to make her own decisions about her health, family, and future.
All things considered, our fight to protect abortion access is far from over. But Monday's victory was a huge step in the right direction, and we've got to keep the momentum so that all women in every state can make their own health decisions with the dignity, compassion, and respect they deserve.