By Elissa Berger, ACLU Advocacy and Policy Counsel
As you may have heard, Mississippi passed a law earlier this year, which was explicitly designed to shut down the only health care center in the entire state where a woman can get a safe, legal abortion. In passing the law, some politicians made quite clear that they knew the closure would jeopardize the health and lives of Mississippi women—and that they didn’t care.
Hundreds showed up today to Michigan’s Capitol to protest an extreme law attacking women’s health.
Apparently all this notoriety made their compatriots, in Michigan, quite jealous—why should Mississippi get all the attention, they must have asked themselves? So last week, from out of nowhere, politicians in Michigan rushed through not one, but a whole package of bills (take that, Mississippi!) chock full of abortion restrictions that could close women’s health centers across the state and leave women in Michigan without access to safe, comprehensive reproductive health care.
The Michigan House of Representatives came close to passing these bills today, but at the last minute, legislators decided to postpone the vote. They are vowing to bring it up for a vote tomorrow or the next day. That gives us a small window to make our voices heard.
When will these politicians finally learn? Abortion is a complicated issue, but supporting a woman’s health and well-being should be simple. We should give every woman the opportunity to make the best decision for her circumstances, whether that decision is raising a child, adoption, or abortion. Politicians cannot make that decision for her. Some Michigan lawmakers apparently believe that because they don’t like abortion, no one should be able to have one, no matter her situation. And if shutting down women’s health centers is the way to prohibit a woman from having access to abortion, I guess they think they can get away with that.
They are wrong. And that’s just the message that thousands of people have conveyed to Michigan lawmakers in the last week.
But the extremists in Michigan haven’t backed down–yet. They are still trying to rush this legislation through the House. We need to step up to beat back this attack. Send an email now. Share this blog on Facebook and Twitter. If these legislators continue to play politics with women’s health, we all lose.