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LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer took immediate action to protect access to abortion in Michigan after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled today that county prosecutors can enforce the state’s extreme 1931 law that criminalizes abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and punishes doctors and nurses who offer reproductive health care. The governor’s request for a temporary restraining order builds on her ongoing efforts to protect abortion in Michigan after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson overturning a 49-year precedent set by Roe v Wade.
  “Today’s dangerous decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals clears a path for county prosecutors to use Michigan’s extreme 1931 abortion ban to prosecute doctors and nurses and jail them for doing their jobs,” said Governor Whitmer. “That is why I have taken immediate action and filed a request for a temporary restraining order against enforcement. We cannot risk further confusion for women, health care providers, and all Michiganders. As today’s unexpected action proves, the overturn of Roe v Wade in June has left reproductive freedom hanging by a thread in Michigan. I have taken a number of unprecedented steps to protect the 2.2 million women in Michigan who would lose the right to control their own bodies. I will keep fighting like hell to protect women and health care providers.”
Governor Whitmer’s Actions to Protect Reproductive Freedom
• April 7: Filed a lawsuit to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s constitution protects the right to an abortion.
• April 7: Penned an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press explaining her action and highlighting that 7 in 10 Michiganders support the rights affirmed by Roe.
• May 3: Joined 16 other states to urge the United States Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and enshrine Roe’s protections in federal law.
• May 9: Penned an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why she isn’t waiting for Congress to act and urging fellow pro-choice governors, state representatives, private businesses, and citizens to take action to protect reproductive rights.
• May 25: Signed an executive directive instructing state of Michigan departments and agencies to identify and assess opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare, such as contraception. The executive directive also instructs departments not to cooperate with or assist authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided.
• June 23: Launched a new consumer website to educate Michiganders about the availability of no-cost contraception with most insurance plans.
• June 24: On the day of the Dobbs decision, filed a motion urging the Court to immediately consider her lawsuit.
• June 27: Followed up with an additional notice to the Court urging them to immediately consider her lawsuit.
• June 29: Sent a letter to Michigan’s insurers urging them to take steps to ensure Michiganders have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.
• July 6: Joined with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public effort to educate Michiganders and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion. The public effort will disseminate information about the differences between medication abortion and emergency contraception to all local health departments throughout Michigan, healthcare providers throughout the state, and the public.
• July 7: Called on the federal government to clarify and protect Michiganders’ right to cross the US-Canada border to seek reproductive health care or prescription medication including medication abortion.
• July 11: Urged President Biden to make birth control available over the counter without a prescription.
• July 13: Signed an executive order refusing to extradite women or health care providers who come to Michigan seeking reproductive freedom.
• July 22: Called on FDA to reduce barriers to medication abortion.

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire National Correspondent
  Serena Williams is giving tennis one last hurrah before hanging up her racket for good.
  With 23 Grand Slam titles and 192 career wins, Williams announced that she’s retiring following next month’s U.S. Open.
  “This morning, my daughter, Olympia, who turns five this month, and I were on our way to get her a new passport before a trip to Europe. We’re in my car, and she’s holding my phone, using an interactive educational app she likes,” Williams penned in the September 2022 issue of Vogue Magazine.
  “This robot voice asks her a question: What do you want to be when you grow up? She doesn’t know I’m listening, but I can hear the answer she whispers into the phone. She says, “I want to be a big sister.”
  Williams said it’s time for her to focus on family.
  Earlier this year, Williams penned an essay for Elle Magazine in which she recounted her reckoning that proved once again that Black women remain three times more likely to die after childbirth than white women.
  She said she was almost one of them.
  “I’ve suffered every injury imaginable, and I know my body,” she wrote. “Giving birth to my baby, it turned out, was a test for how loud and how often I would have to call out before I was finally heard.”
  As Williams recounted, she had a “wonderful pregnancy” with her first child, Alexis Olympia, and even her epidural-free delivery was going well – at first.
“By the next morning, the contractions were coming harder and faster. With each one, my baby’s heart rate plummeted. I was scared,” she continued.
  “Every time the baby’s heart rate dropped, the nurses would come in and tell me to turn onto my side. The baby’s heart rate would go back up, and everything seemed fine.
  “Then, I’d have another contraction, and baby’s heart rate would drop again, but I’d turn over, and the rate would go back up, and so on and so forth.”
  The CDC noted significant disparities in the birthing experience of Black women in its most recent report.
  The agency noted that Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.
  The agency said multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias.
The CDC added that social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair economic, physical, and emotional health opportunities.
  After an emergency C-section, Williams gave birth to her daughter, Alexis.
  “I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote for Vogue. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people.
  “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis toward other things that are important to me.”
The U.S. Open, which begins in New York on August 29, will be Williams’ last tournament.
  “Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York,” Williams stated, directing her message to her fans.
  “But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun. I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment. I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst.
  “But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words. You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”  

Serena Williams announces retirement from tennis