New Planned Parenthood CEO: We have abortion options for post-Roe Michigan


Greear recently served as a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Illinois. There, abortion is likely to remain legal, even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wadeas expected, and the nearly half a century of federal abortion protections it has provided.

In Michigan, the future of abortion is uncertain.

A state law of 1931 generally prohibits abortions, but it was unenforceable under the federal abortion protections that the Roe case expanded. If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 1973 ruling, the future of abortion is unclear amid legislative wrangling, court cases and a ballot initiative.


Planned Parenthood, along with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, filed a lawsuit to make abortion rights permanent, arguing that the state constitution extends a person’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood operates 14 clinics in the state.

Greear spoke this week with Bridge Michigan health reporter Robin Erb. Here are excerpts from two conversations:

You recently said your “reproductive health story” started in Michigan.

The first conversation I had about sex and reproductive health care was in high school. It was really short – probably around 30 seconds. I remember driving down Nine Mile Road, and it was a conversation with my mom. I know what I had. I know where I was going, and I even know what song was playing on the radio: “Whip It”, by Devo.

I was going to a boy’s house to watch TV or something. It literally felt like 30 seconds, and I was like, “OK.”

It speaks to what I believe to be of critical importance – reproductive health care and education. These conversations are difficult, but education is so important.

I had an abortion when I lived in Southfield. I was 16 or 17 years old. I remember saying ‘I want my mum’, and the (staff) person looked at me and said ‘You’re old enough to put yourself in this situation’. You don’t need your mother.

It was very isolating and uncompassionate.

It stuck with me. I want to make sure that everyone who needs our services, no matter what it is – whether it’s abortion care, (sexually transmitted infection care), birth control, gender-affirming hormone therapy – that they feel they can contribute their whole being and that they will receive this compassionate care.

If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe, say, on a Tuesday, what happens in Michigan the next day?

We knew this was coming. When (former President Donald) Trump was elected, he said that he was going to do that. He positioned the (US Supreme) Court so they more than likely will. We are truly optimistic that as this continues, abortion will remain legal in Michigan.

We are optimistic that this will happen due to the good work that PPMI has done with partners in the American Civil Liberties Union, which complaint lodged in April with Planned Parenthood to protect abortion rights.)

If the decision is made and Roe is overturned on a Tuesday, Wednesday — due to the (May 17) injunction — it would still be legal in Michigan, because the court would find abortion to be constitutionally protected. of our state and the law of our state. civil rights laws.

But there are plenty of moves now to ban abortion — the legislature weighed in this week — so abortion can become illegal in Michigan. Then what ?

Many states with access are working with states that are on the verge of losing access to determine how we can work together to ensure people can still get the care they need. … To be clear, he’s a heavyweight.

Because it’s something we’ve had to think about and continue to think about, PPMI would serve as a connector. We would help Michigan patients find providers in states like Illinois and New York, and we would provide information on (National Network of) Abortion fund who can help them cover the costs associated with travel and other obstacles.

(Abortion Fund) are doing a fantastic job. They are really going to play such an important role in helping patients across the country get the abortion care they need.

We continue to work with our national office and other partners to identify opportunities to support patients. At the end of the day, quite frankly, our doors will remain open.

Do you plan to redeploy staff?

I think “redeploy staff” is the wrong verb. We have other services that we need to continue.

It’s ‘How can we best ensure that the patients we serve can get the care they need here in Michigan – family planning services from A to Z – and how can we also ensure that people. .. can get the abortion care they need in states where access would remain legal?

It means working with other stakeholders to create those pathways for that patient’s journey.


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