Michigan Catholic Conference calls governor's abortion stance 'removed from reality'

Bill Pugliano Getty Images News Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. | Bill Pugliano/Getty

The Michigan Catholic Conference has condemned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent claim that abortion is "life sustaining" and should remain available throughout the state, even as other medical procedures are limited to conserve medical resources to fight the coronavirus. 

"We call on Governor Whitmer to pause and reflect on the wounds her comments have created for countless people in this state and elsewhere. We all need the governor's sole focus right now to be on the needs of the people of Michigan, not the demands of the abortion industry," said an April 19 statement from the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC), the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in the state.

In an April 16 appearance on the podcast "The Axe Files," Whitmer was asked by host David Axelrod to react to efforts by some states to limit abortions as part of their efforts to conserve medical resources and combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"A woman's healthcare, 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. It is life sustaining and it's something that government should not be getting in the middle of," the governor said.  

The conference said it had "expressed its appreciation to the governor for her efforts to keep residents of the state safe during the COVID-19 pandemic," but that "her comments on the podcast, however, clarify how bifurcated and confusing her understanding of human life has become."

The idea that abortion sustains life is "removed from reality," said the MCC. 

"Night is not day; war is not peace. How can Governor Whitmer on the one hand prohibit medical surgeries and the growth of food through gardening yet refer to a procedure that intentionally destroys a developing human person as 'life sustaining?'" 

Whitmer has ordered stores greater than 50,000 square feet to close off their flooring, furniture, gardening, paint, and carpeting sections, ruling that these items are "not essential" during the pandemic. Seeds can still be purchased at smaller stores or online. 

The MCC said that they were not surprised by Whitmer's abortion advocacy, as "for most if not all of her political career the governor has carried the banner for abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy," and added "her comments indicate how easily candidates for higher office are pushed into a dark corner by the abortion industry." 

Michigan has over 31,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 2,300 deaths attributed to the virus.

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