In April, before the Supreme Court struck down roe v. calf with that doubles decision and before Politico reported on the leaked majority opinion draft that overturned roeMichigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer began preparing Michigan for the inevitable.
Whitmer was one of the few governors to see the writing on the wall after conservative justices all but confirmed they were ready to revoke the federal right to abortion during oral arguments in Dobbs in December 2021. When red state governors picked up on the cues from conservative justices and went to work pushing through even more extreme abortion bans but still unenforceable after oral arguments, Whitmer, of course, did the opposite.
Knowing that Michigan would be one of at least 17 states where abortion would be almost instantly illegal if roe were to fall due to a century-old abortion-banning law still in place in Michigan, Whitmer sued preemptively in April 2022 to stop local prosecutors from prosecuting anyone who violated Michigan’s 1931 law at a still-publication hypotheticalroe world. Whitmer also formally asked the state Supreme Court to consider abortion rights under the state constitution and strike the 1931 law off the books.
Fast forward to September 2022, just a few months after our current post.roe America. A Michigan state court found the century-old law unconstitutional and blocked its enforcement. After Democrats secured a trifecta for the first time in four decades in November, and Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to protect reproductive rights, Democratic Party leaders vowed to repeal the abortion ban to always.
And that brings us to today: By a party-line 20-18 vote, the Michigan Senate approved a bill passed by the state House of Representatives to repeal the 1930s law that prohibited abortion in all cases except when the woman’s life was in danger. The move also repeated the law’s sentencing guidelines.
Michigan Democrats celebrated their long-fought victory after sending the bill to Whitmer’s desk for his signature.
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