In a significant move towards ensuring rights and freedoms for the people of Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation repealing the state’s 1931 law that banned abortion without exceptions for rape or incest. The law also criminalized nurses and doctors for performing their duties. This action follows Michigan residents’ record turnout last year to support Proposal 3, enshrining reproductive freedom in the state constitution.
A Clear Message from Michiganders
Governor Whitmer emphasized that Michiganders sent a clear message in November, demanding the right to make their own decisions about their bodies. With the repeal of the 1931 law, Michigan joins ten other states that have moved to protect reproductive freedoms and access to safe, legal abortion in light of Dobbs v. Jackson. Over two-thirds of Michiganders support Roe v. Wade and the repeal of the 1931 law banning abortion, while 77% believe that abortion should be a decision made by a woman in consultation with a medical professional.
A Collaborative Effort for Change
At the signing, Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II were joined by bill sponsors and representatives from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, EMILY’s List, and the Committee to Protect. The new laws not only remove the unconstitutional 1931 law from the books but also ensure that Michiganders can make their own decisions about their bodies.
“With the repeal of Michigan’s 1931 criminal abortion ban, Michigan continues to lead the way in the fight to restore our fundamental right to access abortion,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer and reproductive health champions in the legislature who have worked to remove this dangerous and unconstitutional abortion ban from Michigan’s law books. Abortion providers will no longer have to fear they will be criminally prosecuted for delivering the essential, life-saving health care their patients need and deserve.”
The Journey Ahead
While the repeal of the 1931 criminal abortion ban marks a crucial step in the fight for reproductive freedom in Michigan, there is still much work to be done to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible to everyone in the state. By working together and electing representatives who champion these freedoms, Michigan can continue to lead the way in restoring the fundamental right to access abortion and reproductive healthcare services.