Currently, abortion is legal in the United States because of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. However, given the current political climate and the likely potential for the balance of the Supreme Court to shift drastically away from reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade is at risk to be overturned or gutted.
Michigan is one of 9 states with dangerously outdated laws on the books that criminalize abortion. Without protections provided by Roe in place, Michigan’s 1931 abortion law1 would criminalize doctors who perform abortions, making them guilty of a felony. Doctors could be prosecuted and punished with up to two years in jail for performing a safe, common health care procedure.
Anti-abortion politicians want to enforce this old, unconstitutional law and leaving it on the books threatens the rights and access to abortion for all women in Michigan. Around the country, state laws are already being misused by prosecutors to punish women for their reproductive health care decisions.
Abortion is health care, not a criminal act.
According to Pew Research Center, a majority of Michiganders want abortion to be legal in all or most cases. But since Roe was decided, the Michigan legislature has enacted over a dozen new abortion restrictions, pushing access for this vital health care procedure out of reach for more and more women.
It’s critical that Michigan reverse course and start protecting abortion rights and access, so that regardless of the Supreme Court’s future rulings on abortion, women in Michigan can be assured of their ability to access safe, affordable, abortion care in their community without shame, pressure, or fear of punishment.
1 Mich. Comp. Stat. Ann. §750.14.
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