SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Shelby Township board is asking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to remove abortions from the list of medical procedures deemed “essential” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Whitmer’s stay-at-home order gives exemptions to a number of procedures, and abortion was included as an essential medical procedure.
Now, a board of officials in Shelby Township is asking Whitmer to take abortions off of that lists after a unanimous vote.
“Licensed medical providers have the responsibility to use their best clinical judgement to determine whether procedures are necessary to preserve the health and safety of their patients, such that the procedures should not be postponed,” Whitmer’s executive order states.
In interviews and news conferences since her original order, Whitmer has made it clear she views abortion as a life-sustaining procedure.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” pro-life Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “It’s inconsistent and unfair.”
Stathakis wrote a resolution demanding a change of course, and it was unanimously approved Wednesday night by the Shelby Township board.
“(I’m asking her) to please close the loophole and make sure these procedures are not contributing to an increased burden for our healthcare system, and also the spread of COVID-19,” Stathakis said.
In the end, it’s a political battle on both sides. Whitmer’s office said Thursday that there are no plans to change the order.
“She’s using this as a political tool,” Stathakis said. “Here we are in a pandemic and she’s playing politics with something she should not be doing.”
Stathakis said he knows the resolution is non-binding, He said he reached out to Whitmer’s office but hasn’t heard back. He said he will continue pushing to get other townships on board.