Politics

Michigan judge blocks Republican prosecutors from enforcing 1931 abortion ban

That’s when the voters will decide whether to get rid of the old law for good, with a ballot measure to establish abortion rights in the state constitution. ”This proposal will affirm that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which involves the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth,” the coalition promoting the amendment explains. Reproductive Freedom for All, ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Voices, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan are organizing the effort.

“Specifically, this measure will ensure that all Michiganders have the right to safe and respectful care during birthing, everyone has the right to use temporary or permanent birth control, everyone has the right to continue or end a pregnancy pre-viability, and no one can be punished for having a miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion,” the coalition added.

“While today is welcome news, my team and I will remain vigilant in protecting reproductive freedom,” Whitmer said in a statement following Friday’s ruling. “The sad reality is that a number of leaders in the state are actively looking for ways to make sure Michigan’s draconian 1931 law, which bans abortion for all women, doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest, and criminalizes nurses and doctors who offer reproductive care, is the law of the land. I am proud of my team today, but our work continues.”

The state canvassing board will meet on Aug. 31 to certify that the organizers have qualified for the ballot. As of the end of July, they had collected and submitted a record number of signatures: 753,759 when the state requires 425,059 to qualify for the ballot.

In the meantime, Republican county prosecutors say they will appeal. That makes the ballot measure even more critical. The voters are going to have to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution, for Michiganders and for all the people in surrounding states where abortion bans are in place. We’ve had one momentous win on the issue in Kansas. That bodes well for Michigan, but nothing can be taken for granted.

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