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Michigan Democrats make abortion-centered election pitch

People wearing masking holding a large yellow sign that reads "My Body  My Choice" with a small green circle in the middle that has text that says "ERA Yes"
Gayatri Malhotra

The Michigan Democratic Party is continuing to push abortion rights to the forefront of its midterm election pitch.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned its Roe v. Wade decision last week. State Democrats held a press conference Monday to outline how central the issue would be this November.

State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) said voters have been increasingly motivated about reproductive rights since a draft of the court’s decision leaked in the spring.

“I think that there are animating issues and moments around this issue. Obviously, the leak was one of those," she said. "This decision is going to be one of those, but I think we need to be very honest about the fact that abortion is also an economic issue."

Pohutksy said there are monetary and workforce costs associated with a lack of abortion access.

An injunction is currently suspending enforcement of the 1931 Michigan law outlawing abortion as a court battle plays out. But some prosecutors are questioning the scope of the order.

During Monday’s conference, Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) noted the disproportionate levels at which Black and other minority communities experience sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies.

“If you take away health care—basic health care that is going to be affected, providers being penalized or sentenced to 20 years and life—who in the long run does that affect? It affects the poor communities, the Brown and Black communities,” Carter told reporters.

On the other side of the aisle, Michigan Republicans have been celebrating the reversal of Roe.

“Life has and always will be protected by our Constitution, as proven today by the high court, and we will continue defending the most vulnerable among us here in Michigan, too,” Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock said in a statement Friday after the court’s decision came out.

In their election pitches, Republicans have been raising concerns about high inflation and gas prices in their criticisms of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other Michigan Democrats, who they say have mismanaged the state's economy.

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