This morning, Governor Whitmer took the historic step to file a lawsuit seeking for the Michigan Supreme Court to “rule that a 1931 law criminalizing abortion violates the state constitution.” Should the suit be successful, reproductive health care won’t be deemed a felony within the state regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court guts or fully eliminates protections granted by Roe v. Wade.
The currently dormant 1931 law criminalizes abortion, makes felons out of reproductive health care providers, and provides no exceptions for rape or incest. Anti-choice advocates have touted the law as the most restrictive in the country, and it would immediately go back into effect if Roe v. Wade gets overturned nationally.
Governor Whitmer has been a champion for reproductive rights because she knows governors are the last line of defense in the fight for reproductive rights for the first time since 1973. That’s why she has also previously called on Michigan’s legislature to repeal the 1931 law so that the right to abortion is maintained within the state regardless of what happens at the federal level.
The following is attributable to Lavora Barnes, MDP Chair:
“Michigan women and families can rest assured that Gretchen Whitmer is taking strong action to protect access to an abortion. We applaud her leadership as she steps up to exercise her executive authority and file this lawsuit, so that abortion remains safe and legal in Michigan should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade. We’re thankful to have in Governor Whitmer a strong leader who won’t hesitate to use everything in her toolbox in order to prevent Michigan from reverting back to the dangerous 1931 near-total abortion ban.”