Michigan to decide abortion laws after Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court’s vote to overturn the landmark ruling gives decision on abortion laws back to states.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Supreme Court’s 5-4 overruling of Roe v. Wade has given the decision on abortion legislation back to Michigan.

Specifically, the Michigan Supreme Court, whose justices will ultimately rule whether or not abortion should be legal in the state. Michigan Supreme Court justices are split 4-3, with a democratic majority. Those justices will now have to turn their focus back to laws that were established before 1973.

“Michigan has a 1931 law in the books that makes abortion illegal,” Matt Wiese, prosecuting attorney of Marquette County, said. “It has been stayed by the Michigan Supreme Court of Claims and as long as it has been stayed, the law can’t be enforced.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is suing the 13 county prosecutors in Michigan whose counties have abortion clinics. One of the prosecutors named in the lawsuit is Wiese.

There are 13 counties with abortion clinics in Michigan; she is suing the prosecutors in those counties to ensure they cannot uphold the 1931 ban.

Gov. Whitmer filed this lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the 1931 law from being enforced. Gov. Whitmer invoked executive privilege, allowing her to take this case directly to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“Rather than the case going through the Oakland County Court of Appeals then to the Michigan Supreme Court it just goes straight to the Michigan Supreme Court,” Wiese said of Gov. Whitmer’s case. “They are ultimately going to have to weigh in on this.”

Wiese added that the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling could set a precedent for whether or not abortion should be legal. Wiese noted that he thinks Michigan’s current stance on abortion is confusing.

“The one thing that I think we need to have is some clarity and I am hoping that the Michigan Supreme Court will act expeditiously on this case,” Wiese said.

Wiese added that it will be up to each county prosecutor to decide whether or not to charge those who get abortions if the 1931 law is upheld. Wiese said this could be a gray area for many.

“It is up to each individual prosecuting attorney to review every case based on the facts and circumstances,” Wiese said. “They must consider the law, what is moral and right, what the community standards are and exercise discretion to decide whether or not to prosecute the case.”

The county prosecutors charged in Whitmer’s lawsuit have until July 5 to submit their filings to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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