The Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, recently called access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic "life-sustaining."
Whitmer was discussing health care and abortion during a recent podcast interview with CNN correspondent and former Obama adviser, David Axelrod, when she made the comments. After being asked about her plans regarding other states who have banned abortions during the outbreak, Whitmer suggested that while elective surgeries have been paused in Michigan, abortions are considered essential and can still be performed.
"We stopped elective surgeries here in Michigan," the governor said. "Some people have tried to say that that type of a procedure is considered the same [as abortion] and that's ridiculous."
"A woman's health care, her whole future, her ability to decide if and when she starts a family is not an election, it is a fundamental to her life," she continued. "It is life-sustaining and it is something that government should not be getting in the middle of."
Whitmer has faced considerable backlash from conservatives over her restrictive stay-at-home orders since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Wednesday, thousands flooded the state capitol in protest of the restrictive orders, which are some of the strictest in the nation, some chanting "lock her up." That same day, four Michigan county sheriffs announced that they would not be strictly enforcing the governor's order, arguing that the governor was "overstepping her executive authority."
On Thursday, news broke that at least two federal lawsuits had been filed against Whitmer for her "draconian" mandates.