Legislative Dems standing up for constitutional right to abortion

LANSING, Mich., May 2, 2022 — Michigan House and Senate Democrats filed a motion for leave to file an amicus brief today in support of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive message to certify the controlling questions of public law outlined in the Governor’s brief, after a complaint was filed before the trial court in Oakland County. They join Whitmer to affirm their support that the 1931 law banning abortion in Michigan is unconstitutional, violating the equal protection and due process clauses of the Michigan State Constitution and that Michiganders’ rights to abortion are constitutionally protected.

“Michiganders’ right to the full spectrum of reproductive health is on the line, and the United States Supreme Court could rule any day to return Michigan to the archaic rule of this nearly century-old law banning abortion in the state,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “We stand with the governor to say clearly that abortion is a constitutionally protected health care right of Michiganders. We will not allow our constitutional rights to be trampled by this overreaching, intrusive and ancient piece of legislation.”

The case proceeds at a time of urgency as the Supreme Court of the United States weighs its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, potentially undoing the federal constitutional protection of abortion afforded Americans in Roe v. Wade. Were the ruling in Roe overturned, abortion in the State of Michigan would become illegal pursuant to an abortion ban passed into law in 1931.

“It is the right of all Michiganders to determine their own reproductive health outcomes without interference from the state Legislature of a hundred years ago,” said Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus. “The 1931 abortion ban is a gross and unconstitutional invasion by Depression-era politicians into the personal health decisions and 21st century doctors offices of Michiganders. The Supreme Court of Michigan must hear this case in an expeditious manner, before this unconstitutional law is given an opportunity to go into effect.”

“We are asking the Michigan Supreme Court to decide in favor of our state residents’ constitutional right to this safe medical procedure because we cannot wait,” said state Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor). “Lives will be lost if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and this 91-year-old law immediately becomes effective. We are asking our state’s highest court to step up and do its job to protect the lives of women right here in Michigan.”