WASHINGTON (Michigan News Source) – In an anticipated move, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade on Friday morning, turning fifty years of sweeping federal abortion regulations back to individual states.
The decision says, “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to “fight like hell” to ensure women have the legal right to abortion in the state.
After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Whitmer released the following statement: “Today is a sad day for America as an unelected group of conservative judges act squarely against the will of the people and medical expertise. We can all sense the despair that tens of millions of Americans—our neighbors, family members and friends—are feeling right now. However we personally feel about abortion, health—not politics—should drive important medical decisions.”
Whitmer spent months restricting the state’s businesses from running normally and closed schools to in-person classes during her extended COVID-19 shutdowns, but kept abortion clinics open. She has instructed law enforcement in the state to “not to cooperate with or assist authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided.”
So what does this mean for Michigan?
Abortion remains legal in Michigan, but there are many moving pieces currently.
Last month, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher issued an injunction order saying, “If a woman’s right to bodily integrity is to have any real meaning, it must incorporate her right to make decisions about the health events most likely to change the course of her life: pregnancy and childbirth.”
Until the preliminary injunction is overturned or new laws are passed, abortion remains legal in Michigan. However, the injunction of the 1931 ban on abortions is expected to be challenged in court.
Great Lakes Justice Center attorney David Kallman made the distinction that the Judge Gleicher stay is in effect for the attorney general, not prosecutors. In addition, he said the concern over abortion procedures does not involve mothers, but rather abortion providers.
“A mother cannot be charged under Michigan’s abortion law [since] the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that the state’s abortion laws are not applicable to mothers. “If I was a doctor, I’d be concerned I’d be prosecuted, “Kallman added. “Several prosecutors have said they won’t prosecute anyone under law and that’s their call.”
Tudor Dixon, one of five GOP gubernatorial candidates on the ballot in the Michigan August 2nd Primary and endorsed by Michigan Right to Life, was the first of the candidates to issue a statement regarding the ruling.
“In the coming days, weeks, and months we will hear politicians and pundits weaponize the topic of abortion to further divide us. But make no mistake, they care nothing about the women now or in the future facing the enormous life changes and challenges that motherhood brings,” Dixon said.
Dixon added this note for Michigan’s women, “We are with you. You can do it. You can have a brilliant and distinguished career and be a wonderful mother. You can support your children. You will find a way to do it all because you are strong, capable women.”
Candidate Garrett Soldano kept it simple on Twitter.
All Lives Matter.
— Garrett Soldano For Governor (@GarrettForMI) June 24, 2022
Kevin Rinke echoed similar sentiments as Dixon and Soldano, but highlighted each state’s right to oversee abortion regulations.
SCOTUS acted appropriately by letting the people of Michigan make their own decision. I have always believed this should be a state’s rights issue. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was openly critical of how the Court handled the decision decades ago.
— Kevin Rinke (@KevinRinke) June 24, 2022
Ralph Rebandt called the U.S. Supreme Court decision “epic.”
SUPREME COURT DECISION-This is epic and every person who values life has reason to celebrate this moment. This is the beginning of great things to come-an answer prayer by millions, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, I will heal their land.”
— Ralph Rebandt for Governor (@RalphRebandt) June 24, 2022
Ryan Kelley announced a short message on Facebook: “Roe vs. Wade overturned!”
Meanwhile, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reiterated her stance. “As I’ve repeatedly made clear, I will not use the resources of the Attorney General’s office to enforce an unconstitutional law that will allow the state into our bedrooms and doctor’s appointments, interfering with our fundamental reproductive rights,” Nessel said. “As long as I’m in office, I will not prosecute women, girls, or their doctors for seeking or providing abortion services. Nor will my staff seek licensure discipline against medical professionals who safely perform these procedures.”
Kallman referred to the Whitmer administration’s picking and choosing of laws it will enforce, along with similar executive directives as “laughable.”
“Think about the irony,” Kallman said. “An executive order to disobey the law.”