MICHIGAN, USA — The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade Friday morning, which guaranteed the right to a legal abortion in the U.S. and remained on the books for nearly 50 years.
With Roe overturned, abortion is illegal in 13 states due to "trigger laws" that went into effect once the ruling was announced. In about a dozen other states, older laws on the books ban abortion, including Michigan, although it isn't clear when or if the laws will be enacted.
Roe v. Wade became law in 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled that women had a right to privacy and the ability to make their own medical decisions.
Michigan leaders and politicians are reacting to the decision. Earlier in the day, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer posted on Twitter saying that politicians should not be involved in family planning.
"Women and families should be the ones making decisions about if and when they want to become parents. Not politicians. End of story," she wrote.
After the decision was announced, she released a statement that says, in part:
"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."
Attorney General Dana Nessel, a vocal pro-choice advocate, said politicians should not control the decision to have children.
“Although we knew this was coming after the leak of Justice Alito’s draft decision, it doesn’t make it any less shocking or unnerving that Americans will lose a fundamental right they’ve had for nearly my entire lifetime,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a release. “To millions of Michiganders, this isn’t some abstract fight about social issues. These are kitchen table concerns that impact our ability to be economically stable, continue our education, and plan for our future. We all have our own personal beliefs about abortion; the decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy is a deeply personal one that should not be controlled by the state. There’s a big difference between adhering to your own personal beliefs and forcing others to abide by them.”
Michigan is among the states with a 1931 law on the books that would ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. Nessel said she will not use her powers as attorney general to enforce the law.
However, a Michigan court has a temporary hold on that law. That means abortions are legal for now, however, that decision is already being challenged.
Congressman John Moolenar released a statement in support of the ruling, calling abortion a "moral stain" and vowing to make new laws.
“This is one of the most wonderful days in the history of our country and today’s ruling will save millions of lives,” said Moolenaar in a release. “The Supreme Court’s decision upholds the right to life for the most vulnerable people in our society, and each of their lives is a special gift. I have always believed that future generations will look back on permissive abortion as a moral stain on our country’s history and today’s decision will begin healing the errors of the past. Now, the American people and their elected representatives at all levels of government will have the opportunity to make new laws on this critical issue with the benefit of scientific research that has shown us that precious unborn children have a heartbeat at six weeks and major organs after 15 weeks."
Congressman Bill Huizenga agreed with this viewpoint.
“Today’s decision has been one common sense, pro-life Americans have been waiting for. This ruling confirms there is no constitutional right to end the life of an innocent, unborn child," Huizenga said in a release. "The decision correctly restores power usurped by the courts to the states and the representatives elected by the people. While today’s announcement is historic, the pro-life movement cannot waiver in protecting these innocent lives. I will continue to stand up for the unborn in the days ahead and stand against those who seek to enshrine policies that embrace abortion on demand.”
State Representative Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) condemned the decision and said that she will work to guarantee Michiganders' right to choose.
“Taking away a person’s right to bodily autonomy is a violation of our human rights. For nearly 50 years, the right to access safe, legal abortions has been protected, allowing a person to decide if and when the time was right for them to have children. While Dobbs was already excessively restrictive in limiting access to abortion at 15 weeks, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe turns the clock back to a time when women’s rights were egregiously violated. As the battle for abortion rights continues in Michigan, know that I am committed to fighting to protect every Michigander’s right to decide their reproductive health care."
While a judge suspended the 1931 law banning abortion in Michigan, that ruling has already been challenged, and it would only temporarily suspend the law.
In addition, Gov. Whitmer filed a lawsuit this year asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize abortion as a constitutional right and permanently suspend the 1931 law.
Meanwhile, abortion opponents have recently penned bills to ban the procedure in Michigan. On Wednesday, a Republican-led bill was introduced that would penalize abortion providers with prison time.
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