LANSING, Michigan (LifeSiteNews) — Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Wednesday a repeal of the state’s near-total abortion ban, guaranteeing that abortion-on-demand will remain legal for the foreseeable future.
The Associated Press reports that the new law repeals a statute dating back to 1931 that made abortion a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. It was rendered unenforceable in 1973 with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which the Court reversed last June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Today, we’re going to take action to make sure that our statutes and our laws reflect our values and our constitution,” Whitmer, who was reelected 54-44% in last November’s midterms, said during the signing ceremony. She added that ongoing efforts to ban abortion in other states were “un-American, anti-free and, frankly, sickening.”
Last November, Michigan voters approved by a 57–43% margin Proposal 3, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution enshrining a “right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”
That amendment effectively re-rendered the 1931 law unenforceable, though it remained on the books. This week’s repeal ensures that no abortion ban will be in place to take effect if Michigan rescinds that amendment in the future.
According to former Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch, “Proposal 3 goes much farther than merely codifying Roe v. Wade, invalidating more than two dozen Michigan pro-life laws and authorizing minors to obtain abortions without a parent’s consent or even notice.” Further, “because Proposal 3 grants this right to ‘every individual,’ without age limits, that means the proposal, on its face, authorizes a minor to obtain a sterilization without parental consent or even notice, such as when a minor desires to change his or her gender.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe and restoring states’ ability to set their own abortion laws, Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions and/or closed locations across the country, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in various localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and pro-abortion activists have pursued a number of strategies to preserve abortion “access,” including enshrining “rights” to the practice in state constitutions, effectively insulating it from ordinary state legislation, as well as supporting interstate distribution of abortion pills and interstate travel for abortion.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.