LANSING, MI – Today, Barbara Listing, President, Right to Life of Michigan, responded to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s anti-life fall policy priorities. The Governor’s stated objectives included the passage of the Reproductive Health Act which would include the repeal of longstanding health regulations and safety standards for abortion clinics, including the repeal of laws that require licensing and inspection, the removal of informed consent – and the 24-hour waiting period to review consent documents – for an abortion, and the removal of restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortion.
Removal of parental consent for a minor child seeking an abortion has also been included in prior versions of the Reproductive Health Act.
“Governor Whitmer is wildly out of step with Michiganders as she works to push through the most extreme anti-life agenda this state has ever seen,” said Listing. “The Governor is using Proposal 3 as a Trojan horse to remove common-sense provisions meant to protect women and children seeking or undergoing an abortion, as well as basic parental rights, provisions a large majority of even those who voted for Proposal 3 support.” She ad“This blatant affront to women’s health and safety could have only one goal – expand the abortion industry’s bottom line.”
A recent MRG poll shows that of Michiganders who voted for Proposal 3, 97 percent support abortion clinic health and safety standards, 65 percent support a 24-hour waiting period, and 60 percent support parental consent. (Data is from Marketing Resource Group’s spring 2023 poll, which was conducted March 13–17 of this year and yielded 599 responses from Michigan voters with a margin of error of 4%. Three-quarters of the responses came from cell phones.)
Abortion clinic regulations require clinic hallways to be a certain width in case emergency responders need to access the patient, as a basic matter of safety. Regulations for free-standing facilities where emergencies could occur is medically necessary and in the best interest of Michigan women. Clinics that only provide chemical abortion or the abortion pill already do not have to follow the same basic regulatory requirements as surgical facilities.
Current informed consent protections were developed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in consultation with medical professionals and enforced by every past administration, regardless of political persuasion. Informed consent, including the 24-hour waiting period, is easily satisfied by logging onto the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Informed Consent Confirmation website and clicking through the informed consent provisions. Removal of this protection is contrary to standard medical practice.
Parental consent for a minor’s decision to undergo an abortion is not a pro-choice or pro-life issue, but a commonsense protection for both parents and minors. This basic parental right allows parents to advocate for and offer care to their children at the most difficult of times.
“Right to Life of Michigan urges Michigan legislators to keep these long-standing, basic protections for parents, women and girls in place.”