LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive advising State of Michigan departments and agencies to review aspects of reproductive health care that fall within their jurisdiction.

The Reproductive Health Executive Directive also asks that these departments and agencies find any possible opportunities they can to assure protections for reproductive health care, such as contraception, long-acting reversible contraception, and emergency contraception. 

Additionally, they must assure the safety of reproductive healthcare providers. 

“The right to safe, legal abortion in the State of Michigan is under attack. According to the recent draft opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade soon, taking away a right that Americans have had for 49 years. If Roe is overturned, Michigan’s 1931 law banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses may go back into effect. This would punish women—our neighbors, family, and friends—and criminalize doctors and nurses for doing their jobs. 

In preparation for this very real possibility, I am signing an executive directive instructing all state departments and agencies not to cooperate with authorities from other states who want to prosecute women seeking legal abortion care. Also, the directive instructs departments and agencies to increase protections for reproductive healthcare within their purview and offer residents comprehensive information about the cost and availability of care.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Attorney General Dana Nessel also weighed in on the matter, releasing the following statement:

“No woman should be forced to choose between exercising her personal healthcare decisions and the threat of criminal prosecution. I applaud Governor Whitmer for drawing a line in the sand and making clear no state of Michigan department or agency will aid in the persecution of women who would seek medical care in our state.  It is incumbent upon those of us who hold public office to exercise the full authority of our positions to extend support and protection for women in our state–and our country.  That is why I have made clear that I will not use the resources of my office to enforce or defend Michigan’s 1931 statute criminalizing abortion.  I refuse to put millions of Michigan women at risk by restricting their access to safe abortions.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Governor Whitmer’s executive directive tells departments to not help authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided. 

Also, departments and agencies that communicate directly with the public on reproductive issues must provide accessible and understandable information about the current cost and availability of reproductive care.

Earlier this month, Governor Whitmer came together with 16 governors to put pressure on the United States Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would put the protections offered by Roe into federal law.