Whitmer urges state lawmakers to repeal Michigan’s 1931 law banning abortion

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the state Legislature to repeal Michigan’s 90-year-old ban on abortion in case Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The 1931 law, which made it a felony to perform an abortion, was nullified following the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that women have a constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies.



But abortion-rights advocates are worried that the ruling may be in jeopardy after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision last week to let a Texas ban on most abortions remain in effect.
“Recently, Texas passed a new, extreme anti-choice law that puts people’s lives at risk, and threatens healthcare workers,” Whitmer said in a statement Tuesday. “The insidious law essentially bans abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, and allows strangers to sue medical professionals or anyone who helps women get the comprehensive healthcare they need. It is a gross violation of the constitutional right to choose, and the Court’s decision to allow it to stay in place sets the United States on a dangerous path towards overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Whitmer said last week’s decision could spell trouble for the future of abortion rights.



“Unfortunately, there are more cases based on equally extreme state laws awaiting action in the Supreme Court that would completely overturn Roe v. Wade,” Whitmer said. “If the court’s decision in the Texas case is any indication, a majority of justices are willing to throw out the constitutional right to choose that has been in place for 48 years and repeatedly upheld for decades.”

Whether Whitmer and other Democrats can whip up enough support in the state House and Senate to repeal the law remains to be seen. Republicans control both chambers.

In February, state Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, introduced a bill to repeal the abortion ban in Michigan.

“I call on the legislature to send Senator Erika Geiss’ bill that repeals our nearly-century-old ban on abortion to my desk,” Whitmer said. “I have always stood with those fighting for their right to choose, and I will not stop now. I will stand in the way of any bills that seek to strip away fundamental rights from women or get in the way of doctors’ ability to do their jobs.”

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