Democratic Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit on Thursday directed at Michigan’s state law from 1931 prohibiting abortion.
As Politico reported, “The Michigan law bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with an exception for the health of a woman but not for cases of rape or incest. It has remained on the books for decades despite the 1973 Roe decision rendering it unenforceable and establishing the right to abortion nationally.”
The law is one of multiple across the country that was in place before the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, and one that could go back into effect if the Supreme Court Justices decide to overturn Roe.
As the Guttmacher Institute reported in October, “By the time the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Mississippi case, there will be nine states with an abortion ban still on the books from before Roe v. Wade, 12 states with a trigger ban tied to Roe being overturned…”
On Twitter, Whitmer said, “Today I’m filing a lawsuit to keep abortion legal in Michigan. With SCOTUS’ willingness to overturn Roe v Wade, I’m using my authority as governor to go directly to Michigan’s Supreme Court to urge them to decide if abortion is constitutional. It’s bold but necessary.”
Today I’m filing a lawsuit to keep abortion legal in Michigan. With SCOTUS’ willingness to overturn Roe v Wade, I'm using my authority as governor to go directly to Michigan's Supreme Court to urge them to decide if abortion is constitutional. It’s bold but necessary. Here's why:
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) April 7, 2022
ABC News reported, “Whitmer filed the lawsuit, which names the elected prosecutors of 13 counties that have abortion clinics as defendants, to undo the statute.”
“No matter what happens to Roe, I am going to fight like hell and use all the tools I have as governor to ensure reproductive freedom is a right for all women in Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “If the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to protect the constitutional right to an abortion, the Michigan Supreme Court should step in. We must trust women — our family, neighbors, and friends — to make decisions that are best for them about their bodies and lives.”
“If Roe is overturned, abortion could become illegal in Michigan in nearly any circumstance — including in cases of rape and incest — and deprive Michigan women of the ability to make critical health care decisions for themselves. This is no longer theoretical: it is reality. That’s why I am filing a lawsuit and using my executive authority to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion,” she noted.
“However we personally feel about abortion, a woman’s health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions,” Whitmer said in the statement. “A woman must be able to make her own medical decisions with the advice of a healthcare professional she trusts — politicians shouldn’t make that decision for her.”
Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Dr. Sarah Wallett, an abortion provider, filed another lawsuit against the law on Thursday.
“I joined this suit because it is fundamental to my oath as a physician to do no harm — and being forced to deny abortion care and violating the basic rights of my patients would cause them immense, irreversible harm,” Wallett said in a statement.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the high court heard oral arguments late last year in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case out of Mississippi over a law that doesn’t allow abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The court could choose to uphold the Mississippi law, cutting away at the precedent established by Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade. The justices could also decide to overturn Roe entirely or to strike down the Mississippi law. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the decisions regarding abortion would be returned to the states rather than made legal on a broad scale across the country.
Several states have taken action to pass pro-life or pro-abortion legislation. Florida, Arizona, and Kentucky have passed bills that prohibit abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed a bill that codifies abortion access into law.
Whitmer is also at the center of a case over an alleged kidnapping plot.
As The Daily Wire reported this week, “Jury deliberations in the case over an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) are set to begin on Monday after nearly a month of testimony.”