LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) joined advocates, doctors, faith leaders and state officials to sign the Reproductive Health Act.
The signing took place in Livonia.
The act builds on efforts to expand access to abortion in Michigan after the passage of Proposal 3 last November along with the repeal of the state`s 1931 abortion ban earlier this year.
The new laws repeal several abortion restrictions currently on the books and they are due to go into effect in February.
Among the restrictions being lifted are those requiring physicians to screen women for signs of being forced or coerced into having an abortion and removing penalties for prescribing abortion medications. The new laws also wipe out several building code requirements specific to abortion clinics.
Proponents of the new laws are touting the signing as a win for Michiganders and their right to choose.
“We are taking another bold step forward to ensure that Michigan law reflects Michigan values, the people spoke loudly last year,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We in Michigan are making sure that our health care providers and patients have every option available.”
But Right to Life Michigan said the new laws will only make abortions less safe.
“We hope women don’t choose abortion, but those who do — this is going to make abortion less safe.” said Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan. “When you take away clinic licensing and inspections you’re likely to have less safe clinics… so this seems like a very sad law to be repealing. “
Michigan women seeking an abortion will still be given information about alternatives and have a 24-hour waiting period before any procedures.
Right to Life of Michigan said they will continue to advocate for existing laws that were not repealed Tuesday. Those include a parental consent law and a prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortions.