Gov. Whitmer Files Motion in Michigan Supreme Court to Protect Constitutional Right to Abortion

24 June, 2022
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Gov. Whitmer Files Motion in Michigan Supreme Court to Protect Constitutional Right to Abortion

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion urging the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately consider her lawsuit asking the court to decide if Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion.  

 

Today, I filed a motion urging the court to immediately take up my lawsuit to protect abortion in Michigan. We need to clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but constitutionally protected. The urgency of the moment is clear—the Michigan court must act now,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. With today's U.S. Supreme Court decision, Michigan's extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care is poised to take effect. If the 1931 law goes into effect, it will punish women and strip away their right to make decisions about their own bodies. That is why I filed a lawsuit in April and used my executive authority to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion. I will fight like hell to protect the rights of Michigan women. 

 

The motion can be viewed here

 

Governor Whitmer’s Lawsuit 

The governor filed a lawsuit and asked the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize a constitutional right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution.  It also asks the court to stop enforcement of the 1931 Michigan abortion ban. The abortion ban violates Michigan’s due process clause, which provides a right to privacy and bodily autonomy that is violated by the state’s near-total criminal ban of abortion.  It also violates Michigan’s Equal Protection Clause due to the way the ban denies women equal rights because the law was adopted to reinforce antiquated notions of the proper role for women in society.  

 

Michigan’s Pre-Roe Ban & Injunction 

The current version of Michigan’s law criminalizing abortion without exceptions for rape or incest was enacted in 1931. In 1973, the passage of Roe v Wade rendered Michigan’s 1931 ban unconstitutional and abortion became legal in the state of Michigan. 

 

On May 17, 2022, a Michigan state judge granted a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by Planned Parenthood against Michigan’s unconstitutional 1931 law criminalizing abortion. This injunction temporarily blocks the abortion ban, emphasizing the need Governor Whitmer’s action to permanently protect legal abortion in Michigan. 

 

Michiganders on Abortion 

For Michiganders, this issue is beyond settled. According to a poll from January 2022, 67.3% of Michiganders support Roe and 65.7% support repealing Michigan’s 1931 trigger ban on abortion. Over 77%, believe abortion should be a woman’s decision.  A sizeable majority of Michiganders agree that abortion is a decision to for a woman to make in consultation with a medical professional she trusts.  


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