LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging Michigan’s legislature to repeal a 1931 state abortion law.
The governor’s plea comes after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request from abortion providers to freeze a Texas law that would restrict abortions past six-weeks gestation.
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That law went into effect last Wednesday.
The landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade legalized abortions in all 50 states, and tied a woman’s right to an abortion through implied privacy rights in the Constitution. Roe v. Wade still remains in effect, but abortion advocates like Gov. Whitmer want to ensure abortion rights remain on the books if it is overturned.
“In Michigan today, abortion is safe and legal, but we have an arcane law on the books from the 1930s banning abortion and criminalizing healthcare providers who offer comprehensive care and essential reproductive services,” Whitmer said in a press release Tuesday. “Thankfully, that dangerous, outdated law is superseded by Roe v. Wade, but, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe, that Michigan law and others like it may go back into effect in dozens of states, disproportionately impacting black and brown communities.”
That 1931 law states, “Administering drugs, with intent to procure miscarriage — Any person who shall willfully administer to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, substance or thing whatever, or shall employ any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of any such woman, unless the same shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such woman, shall be guilty of a felony, and in case the death of such pregnant woman be thereby produced, the offense shall be deemed manslaughter.”
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Whitmer shut down major sectors of the economy, including so-called “elective” medical procedures. However, she kept abortion services going and referred to them as “life-sustaining.”