Whitmer and MDHHS begin efforts to educate Michiganders about the difference between emergency contraception and medical abortion


July 6, 2022

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gov. Whitmer, MDHHS launches public effort to educate Michiganders, health care providers, about the difference between emergency contraception and medical abortion

Both emergency contraception and medical abortion remain legal in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Today Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are launching a public effort to educate Michigan residents and healthcare providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medical abortion. This public effort comes in light of the recent US Supreme Court decision, which was overturned Deer vs Wade, and will help combat misinformation about the drugs that serve multiple purposes. Unlike many other states, abortion remains legal in Michigan after the enactment roe thanks to an injunction from the Michigan Court of Claims. Emergency contraception is legal and not subject to change after the decision in Roe, because it is a completely different drug.

The new public effort will spread information about the differences between medical abortion and emergency contraception to all local health departments across Michigan, health care providers statewide, hospitals, community health clinics, university health systems and more. The public effort will also provide information on the availability and coverage of the various drugs. Specifications are in mmultiple languages.

“Women deserve to be in control of decisions about their bodies and their lives and demise Deer vs Wade leaves many with questions about their access to healthcare. To make matters worse, some might use this moment to create confusion about the important differences between emergency contraception and medical abortion, which are entirely different drugs used for entirely different purposes. That’s why we’re launching a new public initiative to give women and families the best and most accurate information about these drugs,” he said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “It is critical that we seize every opportunity to provide women with access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care and accurate information while some are spreading misinformation.”

“MDHHS is reaching out to healthcare providers to ensure they know they can legally continue to prescribe medical abortion and emergency contraception, different drugs used for different purposes – emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy and medical abortion to safely terminate a pregnancy,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS Director. “In addition, we have added information about emergency contraception and medical abortion to our website to help Michigan families understand their options and find the resources they need.”

“As a doctor, I understand the importance of a trusting relationship between a patient and their doctor,” he said dr Bagdasarian, medical director of MDHHS. “It is critical that all healthcare providers in Michigan understand what the US Supreme Court ruling means for them and their patients as they live up to their oath to their patients, their communities and their profession. Emergency contraception is intended to prevent pregnancy and is not subject to change in light of the decision in Deer vs Wade. Medical abortion is used to safely terminate a pregnancy and remains legal in Michigan thanks to a restraining order. Both emergency contraception and medical abortion are still legal to prescribe and take in Michigan.”

emergency contraception

Emergency contraceptive pills, sometimes called the morning-after pill or Plan B, can be taken after intercourse to prevent pregnancy if taken within five days of intercourse. Emergency contraceptive pills are not the same drugs used to cause a medical abortion, sometimes called the “abortion pill.”

  • Hormonal birth control: A type of birth control that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. No form of abortion. Legal in Michigan. Available on prescription.
  • Emergency contraception: Contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. No form of abortion. Legal in Michigan. Available in pharmacies without a prescription.
  • Medication Abortion pills: Medication that can be used to terminate a pregnancy. Can be used at home. A form of abortion. Legal in Michigan pursuant to an injunction from the Michigan Court of Claims. Available on prescription.

A flyer explaining the differences between emergency contraception and medical abortion will be sent across Michigan and across social media channels.

Options for accessing emergency contraception or abortion services can be found by calling 211 or visiting the 211 website.

For more information on emergency contraception, see Visit the MDHHS website.

Information on medical abortion Visit the MDHHS website

For general family planning services, see MDHHS family planning side.

Michigan’s Pre-Roe Ban & Injunction

The current version of Michigan’s law, which criminalizes abortion without exception because of rape or incest, was enacted in 1931 Deer vs Wade made Michigan’s 1931 ban unconstitutional and made abortion legal in the state of Michigan.

On May 17, 2022, a Michigan state judge granted an injunction in a Planned Parenthood lawsuit challenging Michigan’s unconstitutional 1931 statute criminalizing abortion. This injunction temporarily blocks the abortion ban and underscores the need for action by Governor Whitmer to permanently protect legal abortion in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer’s lawsuit

The governor filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize a constitutional right to abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution. It also asks the court to stop enforcing Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban. The abortion ban violates Michigan’s due process clause, which establishes a right to privacy and bodily autonomy violated by the state’s near-total criminal abortion ban. It also violates Michigan’s Equal Protection Clause because the ban denies women equal rights, as the law was passed to reinforce antiquated notions of women’s proper role in society.

Michiganders about abortion

For Michiganders, this issue is unresolved. Corresponding a survey as of January 2022, 67.3% of Michiganders support roe and 65.7% support repealing Michigan’s 1931 ban on abortion. Over 77% believe abortion should be a woman’s choice. A significant majority of Michiganders agree that abortion is a decision that a woman must make in consultation with a doctor she trusts.


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