Swing-State Democrats Enact Even More Abortion Protections As MAGA Rages

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Elections matter.

In Michigan, where Democrats took control of both chambers of the state legislature alongside their continuing hold on the governorship last year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed new legislation that establishes civil rights protections for individuals who have received an abortion. Now, discrimination against an individual for having obtained such a procedure will be prohibited under Michigan law in contexts including employment, housing, and public services. A state law protecting civil rights had previously included specific exclusions from its protections for individuals who’d obtained an abortion in cases where the pregnant person’s life wasn’t in danger. “Senate Bill 147 removes this exception and brings the act in line with the constitutional amendment passed in November protecting reproductive freedom,” Whitmer’s office said in a recent press release.

Whitmer and Democrats in Michigan, besides the state’s voters themselves, have also enacted a series of other protections for reproductive healthcare. In the midterms, Michiganders approved an amendment to the state Constitution that specifically established a general right to an abortion, and state officials have formally undone a very old ban on abortion that was blocked under Roe v. Wade — until the U.S. Supreme Court reversed its ruling in that case, reopening the metaphorical floodgates. Before that older ban was formally undone, Whitmer also backed litigation trying to formally block it in the state’s courts.

New gun safety rules have also been a high-profile item on the agenda for Democrats in Michigan, who have enacted universal background checks for gun purchases, which remain absent in federal rules despite the high levels of public support for such an initiative. Often facing brazen misrepresentations of her response to the spread of COVID-19, Whitmer was an extremely frequent target of ire from Trump and allies of his before the 2022 elections, but it obviously didn’t work, and her winning margin in 2022 was nearly 11 percent.

“Today, I signed bills protecting and celebrating our fundamental freedoms as the foundation of our democracy,” Whitmer said. “No one in Michigan should face discrimination because they exercised their constitutional rights, including their right to reproductive freedom by having an abortion.”