Pro-Choice supporters respond to the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 18:29:26-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Pro-choice protesters gathered around Michigan to send a message in the hours after the decision. They believe the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade will cost women their lives and give state politicians too much power over women.

There were pro-choice demonstrations held in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo.

At Palmer Park in Detroit protesters stood along Woodward Avenue holding signs. They say they are taking pro-choice to another level. They are gathering signatures with the goal of giving voters the choice about abortion rights in Michigan at the ballot box in November. Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib spoke.

Separately, two state lawmakers shared personal stories about why they feel this is an assault on health care.

“The reason I take the Supreme Court decision so personally is, in 2011, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer,” said State Representative Christine Morse (D-District 61).

The cancer diagnosis came while Morse was pregnant. She says the doctor told her she could not have the medication most likely to save her life while pregnant. It was “incompatible with pregnancy.”

Patients who did not get that medication had an expected life span of three years. The life and death threat wasn't “imminent” but it was serious. The cancer was a type that can be aggressive.

“Back then, I just wanted to live for my family that was here on earth. That was my guiding light,” said Morse.

She ended her very wanted pregnancy with abortion.

“We ended up with an ectopic pregnancy and there is no other choice. Without it I would have died,” said State Senator Rosemary Bayer (D- District 12).

State Senator Bayer says some lawmakers have discussed making abortion illegal even for ectopic pregnancies. She wonders where this change in what is considered a "constitutional right" ends.

“Is it contraception? Is it marriage rights? It could be anything,” said Bayer.

The Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood of Michigan Dr. Sarah Wallett wiped away tears as she took part in a press conference about the Supreme Court ruling that left whether abortion is legal or not up to the states.

“My heart is breaking for the women living in states that are cutting off abortion access today,” said Dr. Wallett.

For now, abortion is legal in Michigan.

The Michigan the Court of Claims granted an injunction protecting a woman’s access to abortion in response to a lawsuit filed by Dr. Wallett. Plus, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and others are working to make sure it stays legal by taking part in the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign. It is working to collect 425,059 valid signatures by July 11 to get the issue on the November ballot.

Dr. Yuliya Malayev with Metro Obstetrics and Gynecology in Commerce Township doesn’t perform abortions, but she says they are part of women’s health care. She says even with abortion access legal in Michigan for now patients are voicing stress as they try to have a baby.

“It's situations where a lady had to watch her baby die on hospice when she was diagnosed after the termination limits in Michigan. And then, when she had a similar pregnancy with a similar catastrophic outcome, we were hurrying to get this done before this decision came out. It’s devastating, and it could get much worse,” said Dr. Malayev.

Dr. Malayev says doctors are concerned about how laws that regulate certain circumstances, such as how dangerous a pregnancy is, will be interpreted. They say doctors should not have to worry about facing a felony charge when they are judging the risks patients face.

It is a situation that doctors say could exacerbate a shortage of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the United States by making the specialty riskier to pursue.

“There are some counties, about 49% in the United States, that don’t even have access to an OB/GYN and I am not even talking about abortion services. I am talking about straight-up women’s health care. This may worsen that shortage,” said Dr. Malayev.