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LANSING, Mich.— Tonight, Governor Whitmer faced off with Tudor Dixon in the first Michigan gubernatorial debate this cycle. A key topic was abortion rights, where the contrast between Gov. Whitmer and Dixon was striking. Ashlea Phenicie, Communications Director at Michigan Planned Parenthood Votes, reacted to tonight’s debate:  

“The choice after tonight’s debate is crystal clear: Governor Whitmer continued to advocate for the health and rights of Michiganders and promised to never stop fighting for abortion access. Dixon, on the other hand, tried to obfuscate her extreme anti-abortion agenda, claiming that she would have no influence over abortion laws as governor. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Governor Whitmer’s veto pen, lawsuit, and executive actions have been critical to protecting abortion access in Michigan. If given the opportunity, Dixon would use those same powers to interfere in Michiganders’ most personal health care decisions. While Whitmer and Dixon shared a debate stage tonight, there is no debate about who will protect our rights and who will send us backward. Abortion is a central issue this election cycle and on November 8, Michiganders will vote for their reproductive freedom.”

Dixon has repeatedly offered her full support for Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban which would criminalize nearly all abortions without exception for rape, incest or the health of the patient. Even when confronted by cases involving extreme circumstances, Dixon has doubled-down on her extreme anti-abortion agenda. When asked about a hypothetical 14-year-old survivor who had become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by a relative, Dixon labeled the child a “perfect example” of someone who should be blocked from accessing abortion. After public backlash, Dixon attempted to shift the conversation away from abortion rights, claiming that she has no power over abortion restrictions. 

Michigan voters will not be fooled by Dixon’s political gymnastics. Voters consistently rate abortion rights as a top issue in the 2022 gubernatorial election and want state leaders who will stand up for reproductive freedom. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s statement on protecting abortion access:

“When the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, it took away rights that we’ve had for 49 years – rights that I’ve had my whole life – have now been ripped away from women and girls in this country. Michigan could revert to a 1931 law that makes it a felony – no exceptions for rape or incest – criminalizing doctors and nurses . . . We know that our fundamental rights are very much at risk right now. I am fighting to protect our right to choose. My lawsuit would have kept the law as it is. Our legislature wouldn’t take action. And now we have a ballot initiative to vote on. I will be voting yes."


Michigan Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.



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