The order signed by Whitmer, who has been supportive of abortion rights, aims to protect women who travel to Michigan seeking an abortion and Michigan abortion providers “who will not have to fear being extradited for prosecution in another state for offering abortion services,” according to a news release from her office.
A provider who conducts a telehealth visit from Michigan for a patient in another state and prescribes a medical abortion will also not be extradited, Whitmer’s office told CNN. The order, however, would not apply to a person who performs an abortion while in a state where it is banned.
Several states’ abortion bans went into effect after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which have criminal penalties for providing abortions. Texas and Oklahoma laws currently allow a private citizen to take civil action against abortion providers.
Using executive authority, Whitmer also asked the state’s Supreme Court to immediately consider the case, skipping over the trial court, and whether the state’s Constitution guarantees the right to an abortion. The court has yet to make a determination.
Several other Democratic governors, including Govs. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, Janet Mills of Maine, Jared Polis of Colorado, Steve Sisolak of Nevada and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico have signed similar executive actions to Whitmer’s to ensure people traveling to their respective states and providers are protected from prosecution by other states where abortion is restricted. At least one Republican governor, Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, has also signed an executive order to bar state agencies from assisting in other states’ investigation into patients or providers from receiving or assisting with an abortion that’s legal in Massachusetts.
CNN’s Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.