Defeat of anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican Tudor Dixon is a win for Michiganders and reproductive freedom
Lansing, Michigan — Yesterday, Michigan voters reelected NARAL-endorsed champion Governor Gretchen Whitmer as governor of Michigan. Whitmer’s victory over anti-choice Republican Tudor Dixon marks a huge win for reproductive freedom in a state where the governor has served as a crucial backstop against attacks on abortion rights and access.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response to Whitmer’s victory:
“For more than a decade, Gretchen Whitmer has been outspoken and outfront on the issue of abortion. It’s no suprise that on the same night that voters enshrined the right to abortion in the state constitution that they reelected one of the foremost champions for reproductive freedom in the nation. When folks across the country ask who protected abortion in Michigan, the answer will always be: Gretch did.”
Governor Whitmer is a bold champion in the fight for reproductive freedom who has proactively fought to protect and expand access to abortion care. Gov. Whitmer filed a preliminary injunction blocking a pre-Roe 1931 total abortion ban from taking effect in the state and has prioritized abortion care amidst the pandemic. Whitmer has worked tirelessly to protect patients seeking abortion care and providers in Michigan, expand access to contraception, and denounced Texas’ vigilante-enforced ban on abortion (TX SB 8). Before her tenure as governor, Whitmer consistently voted against legislation that restricted access to abortion as a Michigan state representative and state senator.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 15 states are enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Latina/x, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; people with disabilities, and other historically oppressed communities.
Currently, Michigan has placed a hold on the enactment of the 1931 pre-Roe ban on abortion that prohibits nearly all abortions and criminalizes health care providers providing such services in the state. Bans like this underscore how important having a reproductive freedom champion in the governor’s mansion and securing the right to abortion through the “Reproductive Freedom for All” ballot initiative is in the state. As a growing number of other states began enforcing abortion bans after the fall of Roe and anti-choice Republicans in Congress made clear that they intend to push for a national ban on abortion, Michigan voters tonight made clear that their fundamental right to decide is not up for debate.
NARAL endorsed Gov. Whitmer as part of its largest-ever midterm electoral program to elect champions up and down the ballot during this critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. The program focuses on deep-field investments in phone banking, door knocking, youth organizing, and canvassing, along with a robust communications campaign to support endorsed candidates and ballot initiatives in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Read more about NARAL’s endorsed candidates here.
NARAL’s work in Michigan includes:
- Knocking on over 100,000 doors, making over 211,000 calls, and sending over 135,000 texts;
- Rolling out a pilot program with 14 organizers working on seven four-year college campuses and over 20 community college campuses to enroll voters and activate over 721 volunteers;
- Investing $2.1 million to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot and support Prop 3; and
- Deploying NARAL Pro-Choice America president Mini Timmaraju to fight side-by-side with champions and get out the vote in key races.
Key components of our midterm campaign include:
- Harnessing the full power of our 4 million members to mobilize their communities through traditional organizing tactics. In total, we knocked on over 330,000 doors, made over 641,000 calls, sent over 682,000 texts, and filled over 4,600 volunteer shifts.
- Continuing to broaden the impact of our cutting-edge research into voter sentiment on abortion, including our pioneering freedom-centered messaging, by training candidates, volunteers, and activists to speak to their communities in ways we know align with their values and move them to act on their beliefs.
- Endorsing candidates in over 200 races nationwide for federal and state offices.
- NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List announced a partnership in May to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot across the country.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.