Whitmer: Abortion Is Still Legal In Michigan, For Now
The United States Supreme Court has overturned Roe versus Wade, the landmark case that protected a woman's right to choose, and Michigan's Governor has released a statement on what that means for Michigan's women.
Is Abortion Now Illegal In Michigan?
In Michigan, there is a law that was passed in 1931 that made abortion illegal in the state of Michigan, even in the cases of rape and incest. With the Roe V Wade Ruling in 1973, the law was essentially overridden by the federal precedent.
With today's ruling, that law could once again be in effect in the state of Michigan.
Why is abortion still legal in Michigan?
Back in May, Michigan’s Court of Claims granted Planned Parenthood an injunction in their lawsuit to bar enforcement of Michigan's 90-year-old abortion law:
The 90-year-old state law, which was never repealed or enjoined, makes it a felony to provide an abortion in virtually all circumstances and threatens physicians with prison time. Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Michigan abortion provider Dr. Sarah Wallett filed suit on April 7, arguing that the ban is unconstitutionally vague and violates the rights to liberty, bodily integrity, equal protection, and privacy under the Michigan Constitution and state civil rights laws.
Will Governor Whitmer Legalize Abortion In Michigan?
Governor Whitmer released a statement shortly after Friday morning's ruling clarifying, that for now, the option to choose an abortion is still legal in Michigan:
With today's decision, Michigan's antiquated 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care takes effect. For now, a Michigan court has put a temporary hold on the law, but that decision is not final and has already been challenged.
Whitmer also called out the Supreme Court for ruling against the 'will' of the majority of Americans:
Today is a sad day for America as an unelected group of conservative judges act squarely against the will of the people and medical expertise. We can all sense the despair that tens of millions of Americans—our neighbors, family members and friends—are feeling right now. However we personally feel about abortion, health—not politics—should drive important medical decisions.
Will Michigan Enforce An Abortion Ban?
Attorney General Dana Nessel has previously stated that her office would not enforce the 1931 law and put women's lives in danger:
I have made very clear that I will not put the lives of Michigan women in jeopardy by using the resources of my office to defend Michigan’s 1931 statute criminalizing abortion. This is in stark contrast to a state GOP budget plan that sets aside $750,000 in state funding to enforce this archaic law and puts restrictions on funds going to medical providers.