Gretchen Whitmer signs new abortion directive for state departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new directive on reproductive healthcare protections, which instructs departments within the state government to ignore requests from other states looking to prosecute women for seeking abortion-related services.

The governor's directive, announced Wednesday, was written in the shadow of an expected ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that strikes down Roe V. Wade, the ruling that legalizes abortion across the country.

The directive orders any departments "not to cooperate" with authorities of any state investigating someone for "obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided."

Additionally, Whitmer also instructed departments to look for any possibilities to grow protection for reproductive health care, such as increasing choices for mental, physical, and reproductive health. 

"Now is the time to use every tool in our toolbox to protect all aspects of reproductive health care. No matter what happens in DC, I am going to fight like hell, so every Michigander can make decisions about their own body," wrote Whitmer in a release. "However we personally feel about abortion, health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions."

MORE: Michigan judge suspends state's 1931-era abortion ban

Michigan's prevailing abortion law is a ban on the practice, without exceptions for rape or incest. The dormant policy would become the law of the state in the event the ban on abortion restrictions is lifted. 

The law was recently put on hold during a pending lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood last week. Whitmer has also asked the state Supreme Court to fasttrack her own lawsuit that seeks to clarify the status of the law.