LANSING, Mich., July 5, 2022 — Republican Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker released a decision to enforce Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban despite a court injunction. This news has made national press, as Michigan is among seven states with a pre-Roe abortion ban that was never repealed. In response to the decision, state Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) sent a letter to Becker explaining that his decision puts Kent County on the wrong side of history. Her letter urges him to follow the court’s preliminary injunction order and follow the guidance of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and, thus, reverse his position on the enforcement of the 1931 law.
“In Michigan, there is a temporary court injunction to block the draconian 1931 ban on abortion. This injunction must be followed not only to uphold the court’s decision, but also to protect the reproductive rights and health of people in Kent County and all over Michigan,” Hood said. “Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of Americans have expressed their anger, disappointment and disapproval. Thousands of brave Michiganders have rallied to protest the erosion of their freedoms. I hear you — and I stand with you! Bodily autonomy, reproductive health and equal rights are necessary in our country and our state. I will not stop fighting this battle until it is won.”
Becker’s announcement comes as several other county prosecutors across the state, including those in Kalamazoo and Washtenaw counties, say they won’t enforce that law. However, while there still remains uncertainty surrounding the enforcement of the prosecutors’ announcements, at present, access to abortion and reproductive health care does continue in Kent County and across Michigan.
In her letter to the prosecutor, Hood further explained: “Decades of data underscore that when people lose reproductive rights and services, maternal death and preventable negative birth outcomes follow, sending parents and their children into constant struggle — be it because of physical, developmental, economic or other unintended consequences. Because I am an elected leader in the community, I will work to reverse this decision, in addition to securing freedom and choice for women throughout Michigan. However, the intimidating communication to the community through your legal counsel will discourage individuals from coming to Kent County, limiting the advancement and growth of our community. That is just bad for West Michigan, our economy and public health; we must do better.”