When Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs Michigan's 2023 budget bill into law on Wednesday, she will have cut more than $21 million dollars in funding to programs that serve as abortion alternatives.
The funding would have gone to places that Whitmer's spokesman Bobby Leddy called "fake women's health centers." He said that some clinics use deceptive advertising to bring in young or low-income women, and then they lie to them about medical facts and reproductive options in order to talk them out of getting an abortion.
While Whitmer is supportive of providing resources to pregnant women, Leddy said that Whitmer "cannot support aspects of a bill that sends millions in taxpayer dollars to fake health centers that intentionally withhold information from women about their health, bodies and full reproductive freedom."
Whitmer also vetoed a $2 million tax credit for adoptive parents, a $10 million marketing program that promotes adoption as an alternative to abortion and $100,000 for the Michigan Department of Corrections used to pay for efforts that prevent the use of state funds for gender-confirmation surgery or therapies in state prisons.
On Thursday, Whitmer vetoed items in the state's education budget in order to strike down funding for stem cell research and crisis pregnancy centers. Language that Whitmer vetoed included, "as a condition to receiving a grant under this section, a public university must agree not to conduct any research on aborted fetal tissue."
"These line items would create a gag rule preventing reproductive health-service providers from even mentioning abortion and otherwise make it harder for women to get the health care they need,” she said in a letter to lawmakers. “Any efforts to undermine a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions with her trusted health-care provider will earn my disapproval. Women and doctors should be making health-care decisions — not politicians.”
The budget vetoes come amidst uncertainty about Michigan's fate concerning abortion rights. Whitmer has made it clear that she supports keeping abortions legal in Michigan, but anti-abortion advocates in the state are fighting to preserve the state's 1931 abortion ban.
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