FACT CHECK: Governor Whitmer Has Been a Champion For Reproductive Rights

Dark Money Anti-Choice Extremist Group Launches New Attack Ad Against Governor Whitmer for Protecting The Right to Choose

Today, Susan B. Anthony List, a dark money anti-choice group with a mission to explicitly “end abortion,” launched a digital ad campaign against Governor Whitmer for being a staunch defender of abortion rights in Michigan. The $200,000 ad buy brings the amount of money spent leveling false attacks on Whitmer’s leadership to over $2.2 million since the start of the 2022 cycle. 

Susan B. Anthony List is no stranger to lies and extremism. In 2014, their challenge of an Ohio law that outlawed spewing lies about candidates made it all the way to the Supreme Court because they wanted the right to keep using their dark money to bankroll anti-choice disinformation. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the organization, has called rape exemptions “abominable.”

This year, Whitmer called on the legislature to repeal a 1931 Michigan law still on the books that “criminalizes abortion as manslaughter and states that providers who carry out abortions shall be guilty of a felony” and makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, this law would immediately go back into effect. 

Meanwhile, the Republican gubernatorial candidates have made it clear they won’t defend for reproductive rights: 

  • James Craig committed to block any legislation seeking to repeal the 1931 law should it reach his desk as governor. When pressed to clarify his anti-choice comments, Craig’s campaign doubled-down on his support for the law, stating that he “is unapologetically pro-life and opposes liberal efforts for abortion on demand, late term abortions, and partial birth abortions.”
  • Tudor Dixon has offered her full-throated, unequivocal support for the 1931 law and added that as governor she would support any anti-choice legislation that hit her desk without regard for rape or incest exceptions. 
  • And just yesterday, during an appearance on Steve Gruber’s radio show, Toyota salesman and out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke went out of his way to define himself as anti-choice, pledging to “enforce that [1931] law” if elected governor.

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Another misleading attack ad from a dark money group can’t distract from the fact that gubernatorial candidates like James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Kevin Rinke are the extremists in this race. While Governor Whitmer has been a staunch defender of reproductive rights, the Republican field has expressed support for dangerous attacks on the right to choose – including criminalization and complete bans without exceptions for rape or incest. With access to reproductive health care hanging in the balance, Michiganders can’t trust Craig, Dixon or Rinke to protect them.”

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