A new report published in part by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), declares that the need for a young person to obtain parental consent to have an abortion threatens the health and safety of youth in the state.

“No one should have to face a judge to access basic health care,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “Michigan should repeal this harmful and dehumanizing law.”

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The report, “In Harm’s Way: How Michigan’s Forced Parental Consent for Abortion Law Hurts Young People” was published Thursday by the Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, and the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH). The report is based on court data from 2007 through 2022, and features interviews with nearly two dozen Michigan experts according to the ACLU. Roughly 700 young people have abortions in Michigan each year, and more than 85% involve a parent in their abortion decision according to the ACLU.

“Forced parental consent not only violates a young person’s constitutional right to make decisions about their reproductive health, it needlessly delays care and harms pregnant young people,” said Merissa Kovach, political director at the ACLU of Michigan. “That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine are among medical organizations in agreement that young people should not be compelled or required to involve parents in their decisions about abortion care.”

According to the ACLU, the report urges the immediate repeal of Michigan’s parental consent requirement for abortion law.

“Young people deserve the right to have power and control over their bodies, including if and when they are pregnant,” said Taryn Gal, executive director at the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH). “Youth in Michigan tell us that the judicial bypass process is not youth-friendly or accessible; it creates an unwarranted barrier to critical health care. No young person should be forced to continue a pregnancy that they do not want.”

Annually in Michigan, roughly 14% of those seeking an abortion who are under 18 go through a judicial bypass process.

Majority of Michiganders in favor of parental consent laws, Right to Life of Michigan say.

Despite the Michigan legislature succeeding in passing a repeal to other abortion restrictions with the Reproductive Health Act last year, the parental consent law was in the package.

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In a survey released by Right to Life of Michigan, a group that opposes abortion, indicated that 70% of all voters support parental consent.

“Support for parental consent included: 64% of all women, 68% of young voters (18-34), 70% of independents and 56% of Democratic voters, 75% of African Americans, 55% of the voters who think the governor is doing a good job and 67% of those who supported Proposal 3,” according to the survey.

Genevieve Marnon, Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan also highlighted that Michigan law already makes exceptions to the parent consent requirements through the judicial bypass procedure according to the Detroit News.

“Abortion is already given special consideration with child protective judicial bypass for a minor girl to access abortion in extraordinary circumstances, which may include being in an abusive relationship which abortion serves to mask,” Marnon said, according to the Detroit News.

Gov. Whitmer shares her support for the repeal of the parental consent law.

In an interview on Tuesday with Michigan’s Public Stateside program, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer alluded to her support for the repeal of parental consent by voicing her support for the original package of bills.

Gov. Whitmer mentioned that the parental consent repeal “was a part of the original package, and I was advocating for the whole package to get to my desk.”