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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer fights for her daughters’ right to abortion following the fall of Roe v. Wade: ‘We must lead’

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer told The Washington Post how the fight for abortion access impacts her family.  
  • “I’m thinking about my daughters,” she said. “They now have fewer rights than I’ve had my whole life.”
  • The Michigan Democrat explained how reproductive care is an ongoing conversation with her girls. 

For Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the fight for reproductive rights and abortion access is deeply personal. 

“I’m thinking about my daughters,” she said in an interview with The Washington Post. “They now have fewer rights than I’ve had my whole life.”

Whitmer told The Washington Post that, since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the conversations she has had with her 18- and 20-year-old daughters have focused on planning for their long-term reproductive health and creating plans in the event of an unplanned pregnancy or an emergency. 

“I live on a college campus,” Sherry, her 20-year-old, said. “There are people out there who would force me into conceiving. It’s a scary thought, but I’ve made the decision.”

Sexual assault is not just theoretical for the Whitmer family. In college, the future governor was the victim of sexual assault. While she didn’t become pregnant, she recalled “coming to terms with, ‘Oh my God, what if I’m pregnant.'” and acknowledging her access to care that her daughters are not guaranteed. 

It is her daughters that Whitmer keeps in mind as she urges the Biden administration to protect abortion and contraceptive access. 

“Americans deserve to know all their legal options as they seek vital health care,” Whitmer wrote in a letter to United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and Biden’s homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. “We must lead.”

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