News from Progress Michigan

August 1, 2022

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Republicans So Far Have Spent $70,000 in Taxpayer Funds Defending Archaic 1931 Abortion Ban

Responses to financial disclosure requests show Republican lawmakers have spent tens of thousands in taxpayer money on legal services 

MICHIGAN – In the midst of the legal battle over Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban, Progress Michigan submitted financial disclosure requests to the Michigan House and Senate Business Offices to determine if public resources are being spent on the Republican effort to defend this unpopular, draconian law. Responses show over $70,000 of taxpayer money has so far been paid for legal services related to the 1931 abortion ban as of July 29th. Progress Michigan will continue to request updated information related to this issue.

“Spending taxpayer money to defend a law that that rips reproductive freedom away from people shows how far Republicans will go to push their extremist anti-abortion agenda,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Our elected Republican lawmakers are pushing extremist agendas when they should be serving the people of Michigan, who want to control their own reproductive health choices.”

Progress Michigan sent requests by email on Friday, July 22, 2022 and received responses from both offices by email on Friday, July 29, 2022. The responses from the House Business Office and the Senate Business Office show that a total of $71,500 of taxpayer money was spent on legal services related to Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban. The funds were paid to Schaerr Jaffee LLP, a D.C. firm, and Kienbaum Hardy Viviano Pelton & Forest PLC, based in Michigan.

These responses are very limited in scope because the legislature is not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

“This is another shining example of why Michigan’s transparency laws need an overhaul,” continued Scott. “The legislature is able to shroud their actions in shadows and secrecy because they aren’t subject to FOIA disclosures. Taxpayers deserve to know exactly how much of our money the state legislature is going to spend attacking reproductive freedom and healthcare access in our state on behalf of the radical right. We expect this is just the tip of this iceberg.”

Progress Michigan released polling in July showing that 58% of Michigan voters support repealing the 1931 law and allowing abortion protections to remain in place.