Jun 24, 2022 - News

What the reversal of Roe v. Wade means for Michigan

Illustration of a caduceus turning into a gavel.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Abortion rights in Michigan are now in question after today's Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade.

  • Abortion is legal for now due to an injunction against the state's long-dormant 1931 abortion ban.

Why it matters: Michigan is among several states with pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books, per Axios' Oriana Gonzalez.

Details: Under the 1931 law, most abortions are illegal and punishable by up to four years in prison.

  • There are no exceptions for rape or incest, only to preserve the mother's life. Roe superseded the law, but it never was repealed.
  • A person who performs an abortion could be charged with a felony, potentially including doctors or women who self-abort either through a procedure or medication.

State of play: A Court of Claims judge temporarily suspended potential enforcement of the dormant law.

  • But the Republican-controlled Legislature asked a state judge this month to make the 1931 abortion ban enforceable after the Supreme Court overturns Roe, Bridge Michigan reports.

Between the lines: An abortion ban would especially endanger the lives of Black women in Michigan who are already dealing with across-the-board health care inequities.

  • They are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

Yes, but: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Attorney General Dana Nessel and other county prosecutors have said they will not enforce the 1931 law.

Go deeper: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade


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