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Who is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer?

MICHIGAN Governor Gretchen Whitmer was elected to office in 2018, defeating Republican candidate Attorney General Bill Schuette.

She made headlines in April 2022 for her lawsuit against the Michigan Supreme Court to fight for statewide abortion rights.

Gretchen Whitmer is the governor of Michigan

Gretchen Whitmer is the governor of MichiganCredit: AP

Who is Gretchen Whitmer?

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a Michigan native and now resides in Lansing with her husband Marc, her daughters Sherry and Sydney, and stepsons Alex, Mason, and Winston.

She served 14 years in the Michigan Legislature, as well as six years in the House, and eight years in the Senate.

After she left the Senate, Whitmer spent a year at Michigan State University where she was a lecturer on gender and the law.

She simultaneously got a job working as the legal counsel for Dickensen Wright PLLC and in 2015, Whitmer moved on to teach at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

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One year later, Whitmer was appointed as Ingham County Prosecutor and worked to negotiate the Healthy Michigan Medicaid expansion.

In 2018, Whitmer ran as a Democrat for governor and won against the Republican candidate, Attorney General Bill Schuette.

However, her approval ratings have dropped according to a poll taken by EPIC-MRA in February 2022.

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According to the poll reported by ABC 12 News, 52 percent of voters gave Whitmer a negative rating, while 41 percent said they would reelect her as governor.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is fighting for women's right to abortion

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is fighting for women’s right to abortionCredit: Getty Images – Getty

How has she responded to overturning Roe v Wade?

Whitmer says she is standing up for women’s rights by working to ensure all Michigan residents have access to abortion.

Her resolution comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade which made it a constitutional right to get an abortion in the US.

Whitmer had filed an abortion lawsuit in the lead-up to the Roe v Wade decision against three county prosecutors with abortion clinics in their jurisdictions.

The lawsuit was filed to circumvent the 1931 abortion ban, and after the ruling against Roe v Wade, Whitmer filed a motion with the Michigan Supreme Court urging them to “decide if Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion.”

The lawsuit preceded a similar lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood that claimed the abortion ban is unconstitutional. 

“Some legislators have gone a step further, proposing a 10-year prison sentence for abortion providers and a 20-year sentence for anyone manufacturing, selling, or distributing birth control medication,” Whitmer said in a statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v Wade.

“I will fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust,” she said.

“I will not give in or give up for my kids, your kids, and the future of our great state.”

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What are her policies?

Whitmer’s policies include:

  • Fixing roads and bridges – Invest $3.5million in bonds for the roads and bridges.
  • Clean drinking water – Limit chemicals in drinking water and investing $500million in water infrastructure.
  • Economy and jobs – Whitmer boasts of creating 11k new auto jobs in Michigan and says she will work to support small businesses and rebuild the economy.
  • Education – She has made the largest investment in K-12 education in Michigan’s history and did so without raising taxes. She pledges to make college accessible for people who can’t afford it.