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MDHHS Touts Its Support Of Abortion On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

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MDHHS commemorated the 51st Anniversary of the since reversed Roe v. Wade decision in a press release yesterday:

MDHHS highlights anniversary of historic Roe v Wade decision, continues efforts to preserve reproductive rights

LANSING, Mich. – On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) continues efforts to protect the right to reproductive health care for Michigan families and to remind them of available services across the state.

“Abortion care is health care. It is a constitutional right in Michigan, and we will continue to do all we can to protect and expand access to reproductive freedom,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “MDHHS will work with partners across the state to ensure nurses and doctors can do their jobs and support all Michigan residents as they make their own personal decisions about their health and their bodies.”

More than 50 years ago, Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark decision recognizing a constitutional right to choose. However, the June 24, 2022, Dobbs v Jackson decision overturned this longstanding precedent and threatened individuals’ abilities to make their own health care decisions free from political interference. Following the Dobbs decision, Michigan launched a broad array of efforts to ensure reproductive freedom and continues to work today to preserve those rights.

  • On May 17, 2022, a Michigan state judge granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood challenging Michigan’s unconstitutional 1931 law criminalizing abortion. 
  • On June 24, 2022, the day of the Dobbs decision, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize the constitutional right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution.
  • On May 25, 2022, Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Directive 2022-05, instructing State of Michigan departments and agencies to "review aspects of reproductive health care that fall within their jurisdiction and identify and assess potential opportunities to increase protections for reproductive health care," such as increasing access to contraception, long-acting reversible contraception, and emergency contraception.
  • In June 2022, Gov. Whitmer sent a letter to health insurance companies in Michigan urging them to take steps to ensure Michiganders "have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage." 
  • In July 2022, Gov. Whitmer launched an effort to inform Michiganders and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion.
  • In August 2022, access to birth control was expanded to 200,000 Michiganders who are covered by MPSERS non-Medicare plans.
  • In September 2022, action by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs expanded access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to directly prescribe hormonal birth control through partnerships with physicians.
  • In November 2022, j" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">56.65% of Michiganders voted in support of Proposal 3, establishing the fundamental right to an abortion in our state constitution.  
  • In November 2022, Gov. Whitmer announced new protocols so EMS responders can carry emergency contraception and be prepared to work with sexual assault survivors.
  • On Dec.14 2022, Gov Whitmer issued Executive Directive 2022-13, instructing State of Michigan departments and agencies to review aspects of reproductive rights that fall within their jurisdiction and identify and assess their operations and practices to ensure that they provide the maximum protection possible for the fundamental right to reproductive freedom enshrined in the Michigan Constitution.
  • In April 2023, bipartisan legislation was signed, repealing the state’s unconstitutional 1931 law that banned abortion and criminalized nurses and doctors for doing their jobs.
  • In May 2023, a law was signed prohibiting employers from discriminating against individuals because they have had an abortion.
  • In December 2023, Governor Whitmer signed the final piece of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) into law. The RHA repealed statutes that criminalized nurses and doctors for providing abortion care, imposed targeted restrictions on health care providers, prohibited private insurance coverage of abortion care and restricted access to abortion.
  • In 2024, MDHHS will continue to monitor state and federal cases that could change the legal landscape surrounding reproductive rights, including those involving access to medication abortions across the country and emergency medical care in states where abortions are banned.

Access to reproductive health care in Michigan

Michigan's Family Planning Program provides high quality reproductive health care to adults and teens at low or no cost through the state’s 91 "Title X clinics." Family planning is a public health service that helps individuals and families to plan for their desired family size and spacing of children or to prevent an undesired pregnancy. Clinics offer family planning and preventative health services for low-income or uninsured individuals. Clinic location information is available online.

Title X is a federal program created to provide affordable birth control and reproductive health care to individuals regardless of their residency or immigration status, age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, insurance status or any other characteristic. No one can be refused services based on their inability to pay. A broad range of services is provided to Michigan residents including:

  • Contraceptives and methods.
  • Breast and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Services for pre-conception health including sexually transmitted diseases and HIV prevention, screening and treatment.
  • Pregnancy diagnosis, counseling and referrals.
  • Emergency contraception.

Difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion

Emergency contraceptive pills, sometimes called the morning-after pill or “Plan B,” can be taken up to five days after intercourse to prevent a pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive pills are not the same medication that is used to cause a medication abortion, sometimes referred to as the “abortion pill.” Emergency contraceptive pills, medication abortion, and in-clinic abortion procedures are all available in Michigan.

  • Hormonal contraception: A type of birth control that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. Not a form of abortion. Legal in Michigan. Available by prescription. Typically covered by insurance.
  • Emergency contraception: Contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. Not a form of abortion. Legal in Michigan. Available over the counter at pharmacies. Typically covered by insurance.
  • Medication abortion pills: Medications that can be used to end a pregnancy. Can be used at home. A form of abortion. Legal in Michigan. Available by prescription. May be covered by insurance.

Learn more about family planning options in Michigan at



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