Michigan Gov.: ‘The Ability to Decide When and Whether to Have a Child Is the Biggest Economic Decision a Woman Will Make’

Melanie Arter | November 14, 2022 | 12:15pm EST
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Michigan State Governor Gretchen Whitmer shows a "My Body My Decision" shirt at the 14th District Democratic Headquarters, during the US midterm election in Detroit, Michigan, on November 8, 2022. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Michigan State Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that abortion was a factor in her election victory and that abortion is “an economic decision.”

“You have been fighting for abortion rights in Michigan since even before the Dobbs decision. You won women by 26 points, and, just by comparison, Hillary Clinton won them by 11 points during her presidential run. So, when it comes to independents, I want you to look at that as well. Our viewers should look at it. Hillary Clinton lost those independents by 16. You won them by 13,” CNN’s Dana Bash asked. “How big of a factor was the issue of abortion in those victories?”


“I think it was a factor. I mean, there's -- we haven't done this in Michigan but four times over the last 130 years. This was a massive turn of events. And I think part of it was, Democrats were fighting to solve problems, make people's lives better, but also protect our ability to make our own decisions about our bodies,” Whitmer said.

“These are fundamental, core issues, if we're going to design our lives and make our decisions around our families. That is, without question, an economic decision as well. I know a lot of folks kind of wanted to say, should we talk about the economy or abortion?” the governor said.

“But the fact of the matter is, the ability to decide when and whether to have a child is the biggest economic decision a woman will make over the course of her lifetime, and that's why we kept that front and center too,” she added.

When asked what takeaways she has for national Democrats about her win in Michigan, the governor said, “Well, I can tell you, we stayed focused on the fundamentals, right, whether it's fixing the damn roads, or making sure our kids are getting back on track after an incredible disruption in their learning, or just simply solving problems and being honest with the people. 

“A governor can't fix global inflation, but what we can do is take actions to keep more money in people's pockets, protect our right to make our own decisions about our bodies, and all of this was squarely front and center for a lot of Michigan voters, and I suspect that's probably true for voters across the country,” she said.

When asked what her secret is in keeping Michigan blue going forward in 2024, the governor said, “I really think that this was an affirmation of the agenda that we have been driving here for four years.

“I have had a very challenging legislature to work with at times, and yet, despite that, we're bringing supply chains home, making semiconductors in Michigan. We have expanded the auto industry, E.V.s and batteries. I mean, these are the core issues. If you want a good quality of life, a great job is fundamental to that, and so staying focused on those fundamentals, I think, was really important,” Whitmer said.

“I am a Democrat. I'm proud to be. I also am smart enough to know I will work with anybody who actually wants to roll up their sleeves and solve problems, and so just because we now control all branches of government in Michigan doesn't mean that I will change my tactics. There's a seat at the table for anyone who's serious about solving problems and building the Michigan that ensures generations can thrive,” she said.

Whitmer said that President Biden intends to run for president in 2024, and he has her support. 

“I have pledged that to him. I think he's delivered on a lot of really important fronts for the American people. All the decisions that he will be making in the coming weeks and months, I can't get into his head, but I can just say, should he run, he will have my support, and that's what he's indicated, so he's got it,” she said.

When asked if she’s interested in running for president if Biden doesn’t run or if he does, waiting until 2028, Whitmer said, “I just won a double-digit victory, getting the dream job that I have had for the last four years, even in the hardest times. I feel really lucky to be the governor of Michigan. I have lived here my whole life, and this is where my focus is for the next four years. 

“I'm going to make Michigan an even stronger place, where people come to for opportunity, and that's my whole focus,” the governor said.

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