By DeJanay Booth

(CBS DETROIT) — Moments after the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Roe v. Wade, Michigan officials issued statements on the matter.

On Friday, June 24, the high court voted to overturn Roe. v. Wade and is expected to lead to abortion bans in several states. The ruling comes after a court draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked and suggested the court would strike down Roe v. Wade.

Read statements below from state and local officials.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:

“Today is a sad day for America as an unelected group of conservative judges act squarely against the will of the people and medical expertise. We can all sense the despair that tens of millions of Americans—our neighbors, family members and friends—are feeling right now. However we personally feel about abortion, health—not politics—should drive important medical decisions.

“With today’s decision, Michigan’s antiquated 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care takes effect. For now, a Michigan court has put a temporary hold on the law, but that decision is not final and has already been challenged. The 1931 law would punish women and strip away their right to make decisions about their own bodies. I am deeply disappointed that Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders have been in court defending this draconian ban, to the detriment of women and families. Some legislators have gone a step further, proposing a 10-year prison sentence for abortion providers and a 20-year sentence for anyone manufacturing, selling or distributing birth control medication. 

“I want every Michigander to know that I am more determined than ever to protect access to safe, legal abortion. Now is the time to use every tool in our toolbox to protect women and reproductive health care. That is why I filed a lawsuit in April and used my executive authority to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion. We need to clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but constitutionally protected. In addition, my recent executive directiveinstructs all state departments and agencies not to cooperate with authorities from other states who want to prosecute women seeking legal abortion care and instructs departments to increase protections for reproductive healthcare.

“I will fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust. I will not give in or give up for my kids, your kids, and the future of our great state.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist:

“Today is a tragic day for Americans and Michiganders. Against medical expertise and the overwhelming majority of Americans who support this constitutional right, a group of conservative judges we did not elect have stripped access to reproductive healthcare from tens of millions of Americans. We can all sense the hopelessness and despair that our neighbors, family, and friends are feeling right now.

“Governor Gretchen Whitmer and I are more determined than ever to protect access to safe, legal abortion. However we personally feel about abortion, health, not politics, should drive major medical decisions. Governor Whitmer and I are committed to ensuring this constitutional right is protected here in Michigan. We will strive to build a state where everyone’s reproductive rights are respected and affirmed. We will never stop fighting for our kids, your kids, and our state’s future.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel:

“The overturning of Roe is not just the loss of a right; it is the erosion of our status as equal citizens under the law. As a nation, we trust in our highest court to hold sacred their duty, free from political whim. Today’s decision sets a dangerous precedent in reversing 50 years’ of settled law; creating extraordinary upheaval in the American legal system; and putting at risk other individual rights that generations of Americans fought to secure and preserve.

“Now we must do what our courts have failed to do: we must act to ensure that women are not permanently relegated to second-class citizens in this country. I will continue to fight for a women’s right to choose with the full weight of my office. Michigan residents must continue to fight for reproductive rights at the ballot box in November.”

SOS Jocelyn Benson:

“Today’s decision is a devastating blow to freedom in America. It does not align with the will of the people. It was not achieved through democratic means, and it does not reflect who we are as Americans.

“The fight for a country that reflects, respects, and protects the voice of all Americans will continue. And I will continue to fight to ensure our elections enable every voice to be heard, every vote to be counted, and the will of the people to prevail.”

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian:

“Decisions about whether to end or continue a pregnancy should be made by a woman with the counsel of her family, her faith and her doctor – not politics. As a physician, I know that the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn nearly half a century of precedent protecting safe, legal abortion violates the trusted relationship between a patient and their doctor. This ruling completely supersedes and overrides a woman’s ability to dictate her health care in consultation with her physician. And it clears a path for draconian laws like Michigan’s 1931 criminal abortion ban to take full effect.

“I am concerned about how this decision will negatively impact health outcomes for women and children, particularly women and children of color as they have greater disparities in health outcomes in general. A woman may choose to have an abortion for a wide variety of reasons – none of them are anyone’s business but hers. If women and doctors are under threat of prosecution and jail time due to Michigan’s abortion ban, women will have a more difficult time accessing critical health care. And with abortion not legally available, women are more likely to undergo unregulated procedures that can jeopardize their future reproductive health and in some cases be life threatening.

“SCOTUS’s ruling and Michigan’s abortion ban will not only punish women seeking abortion care, but it will also punish and criminalize health care providers who have dedicated their lives to providing the best care for their patients. It casts a dark shadow over the medical community – and doctors will now be forced to choose whether to honor our oath to our patients, to our communities and to our profession, or uphold a law that is unjust and discriminatory and does not reflect the wishes of the majority of Michigan residents.”

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy:

“My three daughters had rights when I woke up this morning. It is very sobering and upsetting that my daughters now have less rights over their own bodies than me or my mother before them. They are now chattel. And what do we tell the girl that is raped at 12-years-old who now must have the baby of her rapist? No wonder only 25% of Americans have faith in the United States Supreme Court.”

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter:

“This devastating decision is an assault on the constitutional rights of women. I cannot fathom a time in our country when women do not have freedom over such a very personal medical decision and I stand ready to do everything in my power to protect this right in Michigan and Oakland County.”

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