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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

LANSING, Michigan (LifeSiteNews) — Radical pro-abortion Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a law earlier this week amending civil rights law in Michigan to include legal protections for abortion. 

The law, S.B. 147, passed along party lines in both houses of the Michigan legislature, amends the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act by prohibiting Michigan employers from firing or retaliating against employees as a result of an elective abortion. The law previously applied only to abortions for alleged threats to the life of the mother. Medical experts have attested that abortion is never medically necessary.  

In a statement released upon her signing the law, Whitmer said “No one in Michigan should face discrimination because they exercised their constitutional rights, including their right to reproductive freedom by having an abortion,” calling abortion a “fundamental freedom” at the “foundation of our democracy.”

Opponents of the law maintain that it could lead to infringements on the religious and personal liberty of employers across the state, with employers potentially being forced to offer employee benefits that include abortion coverage. 

Speaking with MLive via email, David Maluchnik, vice president of communications for the Michigan Catholic Conference, which opposed the law while it was being considered in the legislature, said that We believe the bill will require non self-insured employers to pay for abortion coverage if they offer employees coverage for childbirth.

“Thus, the bill creates an abortion mandate on some employers, he continued.  

A 2013 law, however, passed by a then-Republican controlled Michigan state legislature, prohibited insurers from covering elective abortions in most healthcare plans, requiring that employees seeking abortion obtain an insurance “rider.” According to Maluchnik, the existence of the law could lead to a court challenge, telling MLive “We believe it is likely that a court challenge to either policy would hinge on a legal interpretation of Proposal 3, should a claim come forward, considering the amendment’s broad and jumbled language. 

Similarly, Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, said in a statement that the bill contradicts its original intent. “To include an ‘action’ in the Elliot-Larsen law is a radical departure from the intent and spirit of the ELRCA, which was designed to prevent discrimination against people for immutable characteristics such as gender, race, religion etc., Marnon said. 

“Employers are not privy to HIPAA protected healthcare information so their employers have no way of knowing whether they’ve had an abortion unless the employee broadcasts her private medical records,” she added. 

The law comes after Michigan voters approved by a 57–43% margin Proposal 3, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution enshrining a “right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”  

The law also follows Whitmer’s repeal of a 1931 abortion ban last month. It is set to take effect next year.  

Whitmer’s office has yet to respond to LifeSite’s request for comment.