Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday vetoed over $16 million in funds in the new state budget allocated to programs promoting adoption over abortion.
Whitmer, a staunch abortion proponent, nixed spending “that either prohibits pregnancy service programs from providing referrals for abortions or would be allocated to programs aimed at steering pregnant people toward abortion alternatives,” according to Mlive.
The Democrat axed “a $10 million appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services for encouraging adoptions as an alternative to abortion, as well as $3 million for a maternal navigator program for referrals and pregnancy services in geographically diverse areas, $1.5 million for grants to pregnancy resource centers and $50,000 tied to language prohibiting use of state dollars to fund elective abortions.”
Whitmer also canceled $1 million allotted to helping pregnant students at Michigan colleges and universities.
The measures are contained in a state budget approved by the Republican Legislature and Whitmer, but the governor has the power to strike individual expenditures through a line-item veto.
“The vetoes in SB 82 and HB 4400 relate to funding that would be targeted to programs or organizations that purportedly focus on maternal health, but in reality, do not fully support reproductive health and choice,” Whitmer spokesman Bobby Leddy said.
According to Mlive, Department of Health and Human Services statistics showed 27,339 abortions were reported in Michigan in 2019. That was one abortion for every four live births.
“We are very disappointed that Governor Whitmer does not see the value of funding these life-affirming programs. Governor Whitmer has supported pregnancy help programs for students as a state representative, but now, as governor, rejects these efforts to aid mothers in carrying their children to term and getting the help that they deserve,” said Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing.
Previously, 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. 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.
Additionally, the governor had repeatedly pledged to “stand in the way” of any bills that propose to curtail the practice.
WNMU reported Whitmer also vetoed language in the budget that would have prevented school districts and local health authorities from issuing mask mandates.
“We’ve always been clear that the state of Michigan would not withhold funding from local health departments for implementing universal mask policies or quarantine protocols in local schools — specifically ones that are designed to keep students safe so that they can continue learning in person throughout this pandemic,” added Whitmer spokesman Leddy.
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