Michigan companies will be prohibited from firing or otherwise retaliating against workers for receiving an abortion under a bill signed Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that amends the state’s civil rights law.
Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act had previously only protected individuals against employment discrimination if the abortion was to “save the life of the mother.” Legislation signed Wednesday will extend those protections to anyone who terminates a pregnancy, regardless of reasoning.
“No one in Michigan should face discrimination because they exercised their constitutional rights, including their right to reproductive freedom by having an abortion,” Whitmer said in a statement Wednesday.
In November, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot proposal that enshrined abortion rights in the Michigan Constitution after a 1931 law was triggered by the fall of Roe that made it a four-year felony to assist in an abortion. The law, which was blocked in courts for months, was removed from the state’s books last month by Democrats.
Michigan’s move to specify civil rights protections for people who have obtained abortions appears to be a relatively uncommon move, even at a time when blue states are protecting abortion access.