Future of Abortion in State Uncertain as Some Lawmakers Vow to Enact Ban

Injunction prevents prosecutors from applying 1931 law, which criminalizes abortion along with women and doctors who receive or perform them, but abortion in MI uncertain.

 Future of Abortion in State Uncertain as Some Lawmakers Vow to Enact Ban

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

In the latest in the ongoing back and forth on abortion rights in Michigan, an Oakland County judge ruled on August 19th to grant an injunction that will, for the moment, prevent prosecutions under the state’s 1931 law criminalizing abortion.

The 91-year-old law criminalizes almost all abortions, even the in the case of rape and incest, and entails prison sentences of up to 4 years for women seeking abortions and doctors performing the procedure.

The battle over abortion rights in Michigan has seen twists and turns over the last several months and remains uncertain.

In April, Governor Gretchen Whitmer preemptively sued to block enforcement of the law in anticipation of the fall of Roe v. Wade and this lawsuit resulted in a preemptive injunction blocking the Attorney General Dana Nessel from applying the 1931 law. However, on August 5, Michigan’s appellate court ruled that this did not apply to local prosecutors, 13 of whom have expressed desire to see it enforced.

This newest injunction protects abortion rights for women for the moment with the judge ruling that enforcing this law would have injurious and devastating effects not only on women, but also on Michigan’s healthcare system.

Republicans in the state legislature have vowed to support the 1931 law criminalizing abortion and seek to impose stricter sanctions on doctors who perform the procedure, potentially sending them to jail for up to 10 years. Governor Whitmer, for her part, praised the decision and vowed to continue protecting abortion rights in Michigan as the debate is far from over.

Representative Angela Witwer, who is running for the 76th Michigan House District and is currently serving her second term as the Representative for House District 71, has vowed to continue to support the effort to protect abortion rights in Michigan, saying that these are private decisions that should be left up to women and their doctors.

Rep. Witwer has worked in health care for 22 years, including as manager of pediatric rehabilitation at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. She is serving her second term in the Michigan Legislature.