LANSING, April 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life legislation passed by the Michigan legislature or new precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court will have precious little impact as long as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel remain in power, the state Democrat leaders declared recently in addresses to a conference hosted by Planned Parenthood of Michigan.
“You’ve got a powerful backstop in a veto from my office” against any potential new pro-life bills approved by the Republican legislature, Whitmer told the crowd, the Detroit News reports. “But the goal is not just to stop bad things from happening. It’s to set an agenda that respects women and girls and family planning.” On the campaign trail, she called for repealing Michigan’s unenforced 1864 abortion ban.
Nessel, who is a lesbian, assured the group of pro-abortion activists the even in the “likely” event of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and thereby reactivating the state’s old abortion ban, she would refuse to enforce the law.
“I will never prosecute a woman or her doctor for making the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy,” she declared. “Let’s resist. Let’s continue to fight back together, because without reproductive freedom, never again will we really be able to call ourselves the land of the free.”
Right to Life of Michigan legislative director Genevieve Marnon lamented Nessel’s remarks. “We have a Supreme Court decision that says it’s enforceable but for Roe vs. Wade,” she noted, “and I don’t think the attorney general should be able to pick and choose which laws get enforced.”
Marnon also pointed out that Nessel’s posturing may ultimately be irrelevant, as it would generally be up to county prosecutors, rather than the attorney general’s office, to enforce any abortion ban. “But the bottom line is, she is not above the law,” she said.
The short-term implications of both politicians’ stances are that bills currently before the legislature to ban dismemberment abortion procedures and abortions past twenty weeks are unlikely to become law in the current term, and that Nessel has withdrawn Michigan from pro-life lawsuits her GOP predecessor Bill Schuette had joined as well as joined pro-abortion suits such as a 21-state challenge to the Trump administration’s rule excluding abortion groups from federal family planning funds.
Nessell is also an aggressive supporter of the interests of LGBT activists. Last month, she announced that Michigan would no longer recognize religious beliefs as a justification for taxpayer-supported adoption agencies to refuse to place children in same-sex homes, and she pledged the state to investigating organizations deemed “hate groups” by the embattled Southern Poverty Law Center, including the Catholic news service Church Militant.