Access to abortion care

Aug. 2, 2022

Update on access to abortion care services

The University of Michigan is very closely monitoring the complicated legal proceedings related to abortion care in the state, including the decisions on Monday in the cases brought by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Planned Parenthood.

Currently, Michigan Medicine will continue to include abortion care in the reproductive health services it provides to patients.

In addition to our commitment to care for our patients, the university’s longstanding policy is to support our employees and learners, which includes providing legal defense for those who might become parties in civil or criminal legal proceedings by virtue of their good-faith efforts to perform their duties.

As President Mary Sue Coleman has said, “I strongly support access to abortion services and I will do everything in my power as president to ensure we continue to provide this critically important care.”


June 24, 2022

The University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine remain committed to providing high quality, safe reproductive care for patients, across all their reproductive health needs. This includes abortion care, which remains legal in Michigan, even following today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion. While the state of Michigan has a 1931 abortion ban on the books, a recent Michigan Court of Claims order has temporarily blocked enforcement of that ban. Michigan Medicine will continue to offer abortion care for patients needing hospital-level care.

Statement from U-M President Mary Sue Coleman:

“I strongly support access to abortion services, and I will do everything in my power as president to ensure we continue to provide this critically important care.

“Our campus is more than half women; we care about our own communities as well as those we serve through clinical care and education. I am deeply concerned about how prohibiting abortion would affect U-M’s medical teaching, our research, and our service to communities in need.”

Michigan Medicine leadership statement:

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overruling the Roe v. Wade decision, the historic 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. This action by the court does not ban abortions nationwide. It does, however, allow states to restrict or ban abortions in ways not permitted under Roe and in manners that will significantly limit access to reproductive care nationwide.

U-M Health remains committed to providing high-quality, safe reproductive care for patients, across all their reproductive health needs. This includes abortion care, which remains legal in Michigan while challenges to various state-law criminal statutes continue to proceed. Michigan Medicine will continue to offer these services, based on Michigan court rulings.

Many of the patients we see are diagnosed with fetal anomalies or experience other complications that make ongoing pregnancy and giving birth dangerous, or they have serious underlying illnesses or other needs that make abortion care in an outpatient facility not possible. At Michigan Medicine’s hospitals, we primarily provide abortions for patients who need hospital-level care. Our commitment is to be there for those who need the specialized care we can offer.

We will continue to monitor activity in the courts at both the national and state levels that may affect the care and education we are able to provide.

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs
CEO, Michigan Medicine

Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D.
Executive Vice Dean for Research, Medical School
Chief Scientific Officer, Michigan Medicine
Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor
Endowed Professor of Pathology Research

David C. Miller, M.D., MPH
President, U-M Health
Executive Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs, Medical School
Professor of Urology

Debra F. Weinstein, M.D.
Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Learning Health Sciences and Internal Medicine, Medical School
Chief Academic Officer, Michigan Medicine

Additional background:

Michigan Medicine can continue to offer these services because of a preliminary injunction from the Michigan Court of Claims that prohibits the state government from reverting to Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban until the constitutionality of the 1931 abortion statutes under the Michigan Constitution is determined. This preliminary injunction comes after Planned Parenthood and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed two separate lawsuits against the state’s ban. The ban generally restricts abortion access unless needed to save the life of the person who is pregnant, with no exception for rape or incest and subjects health care providers who provide abortion care to criminal liability.

Michigan Medicine primarily provides abortions for patients who need hospital level care. Our commitment is to be there for those who need the specialized care we can offer and to work with community abortion care providers to ensure all patients seeking care can do so at a site appropriate for their needs.

Many of the patients we see are diagnosed with fetal anomalies or experience other complications that make ongoing pregnancy and giving birth dangerous, or they have serious underlying illnesses or other needs that make abortion care in an outpatient facility not possible.

The University of Michigan has established a task force that is monitoring the decisions around abortion care and preparing for any potential influx of patients from states where abortion is now banned.

Michigan Medicine has provided more information about reproductive care services.

Michigan News: Additional stories, experts on Roe v. Wade.

University Record: U-M president, Michigan Medicine CEO react to decision on Roe.