Women’s Rights

Liberty doesn’t have a gender, and the ACLU works to keep it that way. Our commitment to women’s rights aims to ensure that women and their families can enjoy the benefits of full equality and participation in every sphere of society.

Women Senators Make Decisions on Everything (Except Their Bodies)

Women Senators Make Decisions on Everything (Except Their Bodies)

2013-02-08 00:00:00

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of moving one step forward and two steps back on reproductive freedom.

Just yesterday, Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, a Republican, publically proclaimed mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions have no place in his House.

Cover Me: Provide Full Health Coverage to Michigan Women

Cover Me: Provide Full Health Coverage to Michigan Women

2012-12-07 00:00:00

They did it behind closed doors. 

Yesterday, while the police locked the public out of the Capitol, the Michigan Legislature sneaked a set of extremist add-ons onto bills meant to reform Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.

Provisions tacked on to Senate Bill 1293 and 1294 contain extreme measures that would ban any health care policy issued in Michigan from providing abortion coverage, making comprehensive health care near impossible to obtain for a woman in our state.

Capitol Lockout: an Open Letter to Governor Snyder from Our Executive Director

Capitol Lockout: an Open Letter to Governor Snyder from Our Executive Director

2012-12-07 00:00:00

To: Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Dear Governor Snyder:

The events today at the State Capitol have been extremely disappointing. The state court’s quick granting of an injunction, ruling the closing of the Capitol was unconstitutional, shows the gross impropriety of the decisions made.

The closing of the Capitol while controversial bills are passed during a lame duck session is a bad way to make public policy under the best of circumstances.

Michigan Capitol LOCKDOWN! In the Last Days of Legislative Session, Michigan Politicians Take Extreme Measures to Attack Women's Heath

Michigan Capitol LOCKDOWN! In the Last Days of Legislative Session, Michigan Politicians Take Extreme Measures to Attack Women's Heath

2012-12-06 00:00:00

Politicians in Michigan are at it again – pushing a revised version of the sweeping anti-abortion bill that could threaten to close women’s health care centers. We beat back this bill before and now it is urgent these state lawmakers hear from us once more.

They silenced female legislators from speaking out in opposition to this bill. They prevented over 90 women from testifying against legislation that will directly affect them. They are ramming this bill through at the last possible moment in this year’s legislative session, despite public outcry. 

Capitol Watchdog: What's a Lame Duck Session (and What Does it Mean for Your Rights)?

Capitol Watchdog: What's a Lame Duck Session (and What Does it Mean for Your Rights)?

2012-11-29 00:00:00

A lame-duck session of the Michigan Legislature occurs whenever one of the chambers meets after its legislative successors are elected, but before their terms begin. This is the last opportunity for representatives to get priority legislation passed, which usually makes for a hectic, short period of time where anything can happen.

This year, the Michigan House of Representatives is in lame-duck (Nov. 7th-Dec 31st), with 28 new representatives on their way to Lansing for the new term. Stay tuned for a profile of each new member in a future Capitol Watchdog post.

Discrimination isn't Part of My Religion

Discrimination isn't Part of My Religion

2012-11-26 00:00:00

Whether and when to have children is about the most deeply personal and intimate decision a person can make. When we chose to start a family many years ago, my husband and I discussed our own health and energy and the state of our relationship and our finances.

As people of faith and stewards of God’s creation, we talked about religious and moral considerations. While we spoke about these personal, intimate questions, I didn’t expect my boss to insist on weighing in on that discussion.

ACLU Sues Isabella County Jail for Sex Discrimination, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

ACLU Sues Isabella County Jail for Sex Discrimination, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

2012-10-30 00:00:00

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit today against Isabella County Correctional Facility challenging the discriminatory treatment of women inmates, who, unlike male prisoners, are denied access to community service opportunities and trustee positions. In addition, the ACLU is challenging the unconstitutional practice of keeping all inmates locked in cramped cells 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with limited exceptions.

Taking Our Voices to the Polls

Taking Our Voices to the Polls

2012-09-26 00:00:00

Just a week ago, hundreds of Michigan men and women came out for the HANDS OFF! Rally for Reproductive Justice. Not only was it truly inspiring, it was liberating to turn heads in my “Vagina” t-shirt, demonstrate that I value autonomy over my own body via some not-so-coordinated dance moves, and to be one amongst a huge community of people who rallied and danced in solidarity.

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Dance!

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Dance!

2012-09-11 00:00:00

As Michigan legislators saw other states quickly upping the ante with extreme war on women policies like personhood amendments and vaginal probe laws, they must have grown tired of our state merely being a face in the crowd.

So what else is there to do but dole out their own special brand of bat-crackers crazy in the form of Michigan's outrageous, monster War on Women Mega Bill.

We’ve written about the War on Women Mega Bill before, which combines every attack on women's health into the greatest assault on reproductive rights in our state’s history.

Initially, we tried to take the more traditional routes: we packed committee rooms with supporters but were denied the opportunity to testify; we proposed amendments to the bills only to witness our female, pro-choice allies in the House get banned from speaking; we recruited credible experts to testify against the bills only to witness their words fall on deaf ears.

It soon became obvious that we had to get creative.

Trust Women

Trust Women

2012-03-12 00:00:00

Abortion has never been “my issue”. But a recent trip to Lansing on June 12, 2012 changed all of that. On that day, an activist and advocate was born. As I watched the House Committee on Health Policy hearing on the abortion omnibus package of bills, I saw only men, male after male, talk about what we should do about women’s reproductive health. My frustration level rose steadily. When Chairwoman Gail Haines noted that that she could see no other business, even though over ninety women were staring at her, waiting their turn to testify, my anger went through the roof.

Pages

September 08, 2016 Reproductive Rights
In 2013 the ACLU filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) after a Catholic hospital in Muskegon refused to...
August 18, 2016
Christina Milliner is the mother of a premature infant whom she breastfeeds every few hours based upon the advice of her doctor.  She is also on probation, and...
June 07, 2016
Jessica Mann is a woman with a life-threatening brain tumor.  In September 2015 Jessica was scheduled to give birth by caesarean section delivery at Genesys...
March 31, 2016
In 2014 the ACLU of Michigan began to receive extremely disturbing reports of mentally ill inmates being mistreated at Huron Valley Correctional Facility, the...
October 14, 2015 Genesys, LARA, religious exemptions
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today filed a formal complaint with a state licensing agency after a Catholic hospital...
October 01, 2015
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced a federal lawsuit today filed on behalf of their...
September 14, 2015
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a demand letter to a Catholic hospital in Michigan on behalf of a pregnant woman with...
August 31, 2015 Reproductive Rights
In 2009 the ACLU of Michigan successfully lobbied for an amendment to Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act that prevents employers from treating pregnant...
July 20, 2015
Taking the bar exam is stressful for everyone. But it can be physically painful for women who are breastfeeding. Without the opportunity to express breast milk...
May 27, 2015
Paula Shea, a senior at Oakridge High School in Muskegon, wanted to wear dress pants to her high school graduation. When she was told she couldn’t, she did...
June 30, 2014 Reproductive Rights
In several federal lawsuits filed in Michigan, private employers challenged the new requirement under the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) that all...
May 19, 2014
In December 2013, the Inkster Housing Commission attempted to evict Allison Ben, who was nine months pregnant, because her abuser caused a disturbance when he...
August 26, 2013
In 2012, the ACLU of Michigan was shocked to learn that at the Isabella County Jail in Mount Pleasant, inmates spent many months and sometimes over a year in...
May 30, 2013
In 2010 the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the question of whether women who claimed that they...
February 06, 2013 Reproductive Rights
A survivor of domestic violence who was leaving her husband decided to seek an abortion. Her ex sued for divorce, and as part of the case sought a court order...
April 10, 2014
The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to...
April 10, 2014
The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to...
No related campaigns
DETROIT--After receiving a letter from the ACLU of Michigan asking for legally appropriate accommodations for a breastfeeding inmate at the Ingham County Jail...
CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court will today hear a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Tamesha Means, a pregnant woman who was...
May 05, 2016
The "Health Care Denied: Patients and Physicians Speak Out About Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Women's Health and Lives" report recounts stories told to...
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union and MergerWatch today released reports that reveal that one in six hospital beds in the United States is in a...
Does religious freedom include the right to discriminate? The first amendment says you and your religious exercise are protected rights. But practicing your...
Recently, a Catholic hospital denied permission to Jessica Mann, a pregnant Michigan woman with a life-threatening brain tumor, to have her tubes tied after...
October 14, 2015 Genesys, LARA, religious exemptions
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today filed a formal complaint with a state licensing agency after a Catholic hospital...
October 01, 2015
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced a federal lawsuit today filed on behalf of their...
October 01, 2015
Recently a Catholic hospital denied permission to Jessica Mann, a pregnant Michigan woman with a life-threatening brain tumor, to have her tubes tied after she...
September 23, 2015
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — A Catholic hospital in Michigan denied a pregnant woman with a life-threatening brain tumor a request to get her tubes tied at the time of...
September 14, 2015
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a demand letter to a Catholic hospital in Michigan on behalf of a pregnant woman with...
September 02, 2015 RFRA
As debate over "religious freedom restoration acts," or RFRAs, heat up around the country and here in Michigan, the threat of religion being used to...
July 16, 2015 Michigan Water Crisis
ACLU of Michigan investigative reporter Curt Guyette (pictured), who has been reporting extensively on the mounting water crisis in financially strapped...
June 30, 2015
A federal district court today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan on behalf of a pregnant woman who was...
I prefer pants. That’s exactly what I tried to explain to the principal of my high school, Oakridge High, when I went to him with my concerns about the dress...
April 08, 2015 Five Questions
Ever wonder who’s behind the work here at the ACLU of Michigan? In our new blog series Five Questions, ACLU of Michigan staff will talk about the incredible...
February 18, 2015 Five Questions
Ever wonder who’s behind the work here at the ACLU of Michigan? In our new blog series Five Questions, ACLU of Michigan staff will talk about the incredible...
January 27, 2015 Women's Rights
LANSING, Mich. — As challenges to women's rights in Michigan mount, leaders from more than 30 social and professional organizations announced today that their...
January 13, 2015 Black Lives Matter
At 33 years old, my biological clock isn’t just ticking any longer—its clamoring at me. Like some incessant internal siren, it wails at me day after day,...
December 04, 2014 Religious Liberty
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan in a letter today called on the state licensing and regulatory agency to compel a hospital near Flint...
December 01, 2014 RFRA
Freedom of religion is one of our fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it’s protected in the state and federal constitutions. However, this week, our...
December 12, 2013 Women’s Rights
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan, along with Cary McGehee of the law firm Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers & Golden, filed...
December 07, 2013 housing
DETROIT – In a letter today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan demanded that the Inkster...
December 07, 2012 Capitol Lockout
To: Governor Rick Snyder P.O. Box 30013 Lansing, Michigan 48909 Dear Governor Snyder: The events today at the State Capitol have been extremely disappointing...
October 30, 2012 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit today against Isabella County Correctional Facility challenging the discriminatory...
June 07, 2012 Reproductive Rights
LANSING, Mich. – In an effort to protect women’s health care in Michigan, doctors, health care professionals and reproductive rights advocates denounced a...
April 12, 2012 Criminal Justice
Update 4/12/12: VICTORY! With your help, we've confirmed that the Michigan Department of Corrections has abandoned the routine implementation of this degrading...
April 12, 2012 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan confirmed today that the Michigan Department of Corrections has abandoned the routine...
February 14, 2011 Women’s Rights
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter today to the Downriver League (DRL) urging the athletic conference to immediately repeal...
July 28, 2010 Women’s Rights
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced today that it has settled its lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department on behalf of...
March 31, 2010 Breast Cancer
Let’s liberate the breast cancer genes! I’ll bet you didn’t know that they needed liberating, but until this week, private corporations could actually patent...
March 30, 2010
DETROIT – Patents on genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are invalid, ruled a New York federal court yesterday. The precedent-setting...
December 15, 2009 Women’s Rights
On the 218th birthday of our Bill of Rights, our Michigan State Legislature has given us the best birthday gift that we could hope for. This morning, the...
December 01, 2009 Religious Liberty
The U of M Chapter of the ACLU and the University of Michigan Students for Choice-VOX invite you to attend a two-day conference on Jan. 24 and 25. Giving...
November 17, 2009 Women’s Rights
DETROIT – A group of civil rights organizations asked a panel of appeals court judges today to reverse a lower court’s decision and strike down Proposal 2, the...
October 09, 2009 Reproductive Rights
LANSING — At a hearing today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and dozens of supporters of informed...
October 08, 2009 Student Rights
DETROIT – After learning that fourth graders at Millside Elementary School in Algonac were involuntarily separated into two single gender classrooms, the...
April 30, 2009 Religious Liberty
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, with the support of a diverse group of religious, ethnic and domestic violence organizations,...
October 14, 2008 Work Place Rights
DETROIT — In an effort to protect the rights of women, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit late yesterday on behalf of five...
May 28, 2008 Reproductive Rights
LANSING — Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan are deeply disappointed, today, in the Michigan House...
February 26, 2008 housing
DETROIT – A groundbreaking settlement agreement finalized today between a domestic violence survivor, a private housing complex and a property management...
January 07, 2008 Reproductive Rights
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review legal questions raised in a challenge to Michigan’s third attempt at a dangerous and extreme ban on...
June 04, 2007 Reproductive Rights
CINCINNATI — The American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America today hailed a decision by the U....
May 24, 2007 LGBT Rights
DETROIT — Encouraged by the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision today granting a request to appeal the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the state’s marriage...
January 25, 2007 Prisoner Rights
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan lauded a federal judge’s ruling striking down a 2000 amendment to the state civil rights law that stripped...
October 26, 2006 Reproductive Rights
CINCINNATI — The American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America today asked the U.S. Court of...
August 22, 2006 Reproductive Rights
Detroit — In response to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and 27 other organizations, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission issued...
July 12, 2005 Women's Rights
DETROIT – In a victory for women’s equality, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the National Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) have reached an...
June 14, 2005 Reproductive Rights
Detroit, MI – The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America asked a federal court...
March 14, 2005 Reproductive Rights
DETROIT, MI — The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced today that the...
March 09, 2005 housing
ANN ARBOR – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan (FHC-SE) and the Clinical Law Program of the...
March 01, 2005 Reproductive Rights
Detroit, MI—The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America asked a federal court today to...
June 09, 2004 Reproductive Rights
DETROIT – After two successful challenges and for the third time in seven years, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced today that it is...
February 10, 2004 Prisoner Rights
DETROIT – In a victory for women prisoners, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced today that a tentative settlement agreement was reached in...
January 27, 2004 Right to Choose
Decline to Sign the Petition In Michigan, Right to Life and the Catholic Conference have just begun a petition drive in an attempt to do an end-run around SB...
December 10, 2003 housing
DETROIT – In a precedent-setting settlement, the Ypsilanti Housing Commission (YHC) has agreed to end a policy that led to the eviction of domestic violence...
September 30, 2003 Reproductive Rights
Another deceptive bill to eliminate a woman’s right to choose passed the Senate today. The new bill, called the "legal birth definition act," is an attempt to...
July 08, 2003 Reproductive Rights
DETROIT – In a blatant attack on personal privacy rights, a Lapeer County judge ordered a woman to submit to a medically "verifiable" method of birth control...
May 09, 2003 Reproductive Rights
New so-called partial birth abortion bill passes the HouseUPDATED May 9, 2003 — Another so-called "partial birth abortion" ban passed the House yesterday. The...
February 06, 2002 housing
DETROIT — Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued the Ypsilanti Housing Commission (Commission) for evicting Aronica Warren from her...
December 13, 2001 Reproductive Rights
Today the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation to undermine family planning and contraception services provided by pro-choice groups like...
April 26, 2001 Reproductive Rights
For the second time in four years, a Michigan statute regarding abortion has been stuck down in federal court. ACLU Press Release: Court Again Upholds A Woman'...
April 26, 2001 Reproductive Rights
DETROIT — For the second time in four years, a Michigan statute regarding abortion has been stuck down in federal court. United States District Judge Arthur J...
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America today hailed a decision by a...
Detroit — In a letter to an apartment management company today, the national American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan urged a Detroit landlord...
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal sex discrimination lawsuit against a Detroit landlord after the company evicted a domestic...
In March 2003, the ACLU of Michigan convened a conference with groups and individuals addressing a range of concerns affecting women and girls. Shortly after,...
Written in 2000, this 8-page publication provides accurate and usable information about current reproductive freedom laws and the threat of legislation...
Take Action Here: Tell your representative and speaker of the house to stop pandering to anti-choice forces You can tell it’s an election year in Michigan. Our...
Rep. Rebekah Warren (D - Ann Arbor) and Rep. Marie Donigan (D - Royal Oak) have bills pending before the MI House Judiciary Committee that would ensure women...