Michigan moves closer to removing 1931 abortion ban from law books

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:27 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:48 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - House Democrats are moving forward on the repeal of Michigan’s 1931 law criminalizing abortion care.

The 2022 summer was full of protests both for and against abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade back in June, which meant Michigan’s 1931 ban on abortion would potentially be back on the books.

This development comes after Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved a measure last November, amending the state constitution to protect a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Democrats argue that this amendment renders the 1931 ban unconstitutional.

However, opponents of the repeal effort want the state to offer more help to women in need, rather than just focusing on abortion.

“What if society focused on providing her family adequate resources, education and employment opportunities, a support system, and help to make sure her material needs are met?” said Rebecca Mastee of the Michigan Catholic Conference.

State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky of Livonia countered that the amendment to the state constitution provides a constitutional right to reproductive freedom, including access to abortion.

“That doesn’t mean we should just let these zombie laws sit on the books,” Pohutsky said. “We need to repeal them, and the people of Michigan made it very clear they want us to.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made it a priority this year to repeal the state’s abortion ban, a move that could have significant implications for women’s reproductive rights in Michigan.

“As legislators, one of our most critical imperatives is following the will of the voters. The people of Michigan spoke loud and clear with the approval of Proposal 3 that they want reproductive freedom,” Pohutsky said. “My colleagues and I are proud to bring forth legislation to remove all traces of this draconian law that threatens doctors and nurses with prison time for providing the health care that people need and deserve.”


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