State Watch

Whitmer files motion asking state Supreme Court to quickly take up lawsuit over abortion rights

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Friday filed a motion asking for the state’s high court to quickly take up her lawsuit, which aims to stop a decades-old abortion ban from being enforced and considers abortion a constitutional right in the state.

“We need to clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but constitutionally protected. The urgency of the moment is clear—the Michigan court must act now,” Whitmer said in a statement

“With today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Michigan’s extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care is poised to take effect,” she added. “If the 1931 law goes into effect, it will punish women and strip away their right to make decisions about their own bodies.”

Whitmer’s remarks came after the federal Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling gives states the authority to determine abortion rights, creating a patchwork of different rules across the country.

Michigan has a 1931 law on the books that outlaws the medical procedure in the state unless “necessary to preserve the life of” the patient; the Michigan Court of Claims last month issued a preliminary injunction against that law after a doctor and Planned Parenthood of Michigan filed a legal challenge against it, Michigan Radio reported.

Whitmer on Saturday reiterated that abortions are still legal in the state.

“Because of a temporary injunction, abortion is still legal in Michigan,” she tweeted.

The Supreme Court’s decision is already having far-reaching consequences for a handful of states that have immediately banned abortions, or have caused uncertainty in states like Wisconsin over old laws that had previously been unenforced amid Roe v. Wade. 

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