“In Michigan today, abortion is safe and legal, but we have an arcane law on the books from the 1930s banning abortion and criminalizing health care providers who offer comprehensive care and essential reproductive services,” Whitmer said in a statement Tuesday asking the GOP-controlled legislature to repeal a law enacted in the 1930s.
“Thankfully, that dangerous, outdated law is superseded by Roe v. Wade, but, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe, that Michigan law and others like it may go back into effect in dozens of states, disproportionately impacting Black and brown communities,” Whitmer added.
Pro-life groups in Michigan, including Right to Life of Michigan, have called for the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
“The Michigan abortion industry is afraid of what the future will hold for them,” the organization said on Facebook last week. “Well here is a little hint, the future is prolife.”
In a statement to Fox News, the pro-life group says it is confident Whitmer will not be able to repeal the law.
“We are not surprised that Governor Whitmer wants to repeal the 1846 abortion ban,” a spokesperson for Right to Life of Michigan said. “She has stated that these are her intentions when she was running for Governor and when she was in the State Senate. The voters sent prolife majorities to the Michigan Legislature, so her efforts to repeal the Michigan law will not be successful.”
Whitmer’s call comes a week after the Supreme Court denied an emergency appeal to block a Texas abortion law by a 5-4 margin.
The Texas law, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed in May, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks.
The Texas law also includes unique authority for private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions — such as driving a woman to a clinic — for at least $10,000, if successful.
It is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have enacted bans early in pregnancy, but courts have blocked all of them from going into effect.
“What they did in Texas was interesting, and I haven’t really been able to look enough about it, they’ve basically done this through private right of action, so it’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we’ll have to look, I’m going to look more significantly at it,” DeSantis said following the ruling. “I do think that at the end of the day the science on this has been very powerful now for a long time, you go back 40 years ago what people thought versus what they can see now, very very powerful, so I’ve always been somebody that really does support protections for life, as best as we can do.”
“This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century,” Biden said in a statement last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report