Governor Gretchen Whitmer hit the ground running the morning of April 7th. She saw the writing on the wall for her Democratic party to potentially lose the cornerstone of their party, abortion rights. While Michigan is a state with its own abortion ban in place, it’s not something enforced, and as a result, 13 counties across the state have abortion clinics.
This immoral and technically illegal practice has had a blind eye turned towards it in Michigan for ages. Given the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would allow states to make the end for abortions even earlier, and possibly outright banning the procedure, she wanted to get her chance to fix things early. Many suspected the Governor would go through the Michigan Supreme Court instead of letting it snake through the lower courts first. Her appeal directly to sue and get it recognized as a right 176 years after it was first banned is historic.
Speaking with the Associated Press about the 2.2 million women who are looking at this no longer being a legal procedure, she pled her case about the subject. “It was important for us to take action now, to ensure that women and providers across the state of Michigan know whether abortions will still be available in the state because it impacts their lives and our health care providers’ practices. It’s crucial that we take this action now to secure and ensure that the Michigan Constitution protects this right that we have had available for 49 years.”
49 years of a grey area and now that the federal government wants to close that loophole, she wants to force it to remain open in Michigan. They are one of 8 states with unenforced bans, and the 1973 Roe verdict forced the option upon the state and its residents. The law that is currently on the books is from 1931 but dates back to 1846 and makes it illegal to perform the procedure by instrument or substances to terminate the pregnancy.
This law makes no exception for rape or incest and is widely considered to be one of the harshest in the U.S. Whitmer has predictably avoided the Republican-led legislature. This kind of issue would certainly and rightfully fail there. Her idea of Michigan becoming what Colorado yearns to be is criminal considering the tradition of this law. While it has remained unenforced for 50 years, a law is a law.
Within Whitmer’s complaint, she discussed how the Michigan Supreme Court in 1973 ruled that Roe limited the effect of the state ban, but abortion rights have been undermined over 50 years of litigation in federal courts. The state’s high court has yet to identify whether the state constitution would protect these rights. In 1997, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled there is no state constitutional right to abortion. According to her office, this is the exact reason she needs to be stepping in.
Whitmer looks to undermine the U.S. Constitution and the rights of the American people, and more specifically the people of Michigan. Should she be successful in her bid to have this change enacted, Michigan will see abortion clinics on every other corner. Fear of the traditional laws of the past is the only thing that has kept it reduced to such a low number of counties.