A 1930s Michigan law affecting pregnancy termination is under scrutiny as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) attempts to change the subject from her scandals and President Joe Biden’s sagging poll numbers.
On Tuesday, Whitmer demanded the Republican-led legislature repeal a law that effectively bans all abortions in the state.
“Recently, Texas passed a new, extreme anti-choice law that puts people’s lives at risk, and threatens health care workers. The insidious law essentially bans abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, and allows strangers to sue medical professionals or anyone who helps women get the comprehensive healthcare they need,” Whitmer said, ABC 12 reported.
The proposed law, Senate Bill 70, was assigned to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, but it has received no action from the state legislature.
“In Michigan today, abortion is safe and legal, but we have an arcane law on the books from the 1930s banning abortion and criminalizing health care providers who offer comprehensive care and essential reproductive services,” Whitmer said.
The governor, seeking reelection in 2022, vowed to “stand in the way” of any bills that propose to curtail the practice.
Joining Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nesse, a Democrat, has previously pledged to not enforce any abortion ban.
“I will never prosecute a woman or her doctor for making the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy,” Nessel said in 2019.
State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) declined to meet Whitmer’s demands.
“The primary charge of any government or government official is to protect the life of the innocent,” Shirkey said, according to the Detroit News. “Michigan Senate Republicans will not waiver from this fundamental duty to protect the sanctity of life.”
Whitmer’s statement comes as recent polling showed her struggling against a generic Republican opponent. In the poll, results pointed to Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic for her decline.
“While most Governors in the country – regardless of party affiliation – came out of the pandemic with strong marks for their leadership, Governor Whitmer appears to have used it as an opportunity to make voters like her less,” said Brent Buchanan, CEO of Cygnal who conducted the poll.
A more recent poll indicated she is just one point ahead of former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, the only candidate considered. Former steel foundry sales executive and television news host Tudor Dixon and chiropractor Garrett Soldano are also widely considered top-tier Republican candidates.
Another survey found Biden is viewed negatively in two key swing congressional districts in the state. American Action Network surveyed voters in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Congressional Districts, represented by Democrats Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens, respectively.
The poll found Biden’s net job approval is -12 percent in the 8th and -6 percent in the 11th. In both areas, Biden’s approval is hovering in the mid 40s, with voters blaming the federal government for the growing concern over inflation.
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