The Michigan House and Senate passed a controversial legislation this week on second trimester abortions, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vows to veto it once it hits her desk.
“I mean it’s disappointing right. If you’re a woman alive today who believes that her body is her own, this is absolutely a tremendous step back in time for us,” said Angela Vasquez-Giroux, with Planned Parenthood.
On May 14, Michigan’s Republican-backed Legislature voted to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure. Planned Parenthood thinks that’s a bad decision.
“They’ve been telling us for years that they only have problems with a certain type of abortion, or abortion that is during a certain time in pregnancy. But the reality is that what they want is for it to be impossible for people who need this medical service to get it when they need it most,” Vasquez-Giroux said.
The Senate voted 22-16 along partisan lines on the legislation. The ban would make it a two-year felony for a physician to perform the procedure unless it was to save the life of the mother.
Vasquez-Giroux believes this is a step towards banning abortions completely.
“We know that each one of these bans is unconstitutional which means that each of them can be headed for the Supreme Court in order to re-litigate Roe v. Wade any time,” Vasquez-Giroux said.
Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that protect a pregnant woman’s ability to choose whether to have an abortion. Several states are challenging that decision, including Michigan and Alabama - which voted to effectively ban most abortions.
Whitmer has made it clear if the bills reach her desk, they will be vetoed. But Right to Life Michigan hopes she’ll reconsider.
“We would love to have her sign this bill because you know, I don’t think you need to be a big pro-lifer to decide that it’s not OK to rip arms and legs off of living babies,” said Genevieve Marnon, with Right to Life Michigan.
Marnon is the legislative director at Right to Life Michigan. She said if a veto does take place, the organization plans to work around it.
“If she vetoes it, Right to Life Michigan has been known to go over gubernatorial vetoes in the past with a citizens-initiated legislation,” Marnon said.