Thursday, August 18, 2022

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Michigan to revert back to 1931 law

June 24, 2022
<p>Protestors block anti-abortion protestors with their signs and umbrellas. Planned Parenthood held a pro-choice rally at the Michigan Capitol on May 3, 2022, following news of the Supreme Court&#x27;s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.</p>

Protestors block anti-abortion protestors with their signs and umbrellas. Planned Parenthood held a pro-choice rally at the Michigan Capitol on May 3, 2022, following news of the Supreme Court's intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Photo by Sheldon Krause | The State News

In the long-awaited official decision from the Supreme Court, the rumors have become law—Roe v. Wade has been overturned in a 6-to-3 vote.

This decision comes after the leak of their possible overturn of the landmark human rights decision decades ago went public.

This now leaves the decisions on reproductive rights including abortion in the hands of the states and voters electing in their abortion rights or anti-abortion state officials.

Eight states have officially banned abortions after this overturn due to pre-Roe laws in the state constitutions that existed before the Roe v. Wade case decision in 1973.

Michigan is supposed to be one of the states participating in this automatic ban due to a 1931 law in the Michigan State Constitution that existed before the court case, known as one of the heaviest anti-choice legislation that could fall into place nationally, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

However, Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Sarah Willett claimed this law to be out of date and unconstitutional and filed a lawsuit against the ban and the constitution, backed heavily by the governor.

The Michigan Court of Claims ruled in favor of the advocacy group and Willett, placing an injunction to keep the ban from temporarily falling into place after this overturn, being a small, but timely victory for those on the side of abortion rights. Many are looking to turn that temporary injunction into a permanent erasure of the 1931 law.

Whitmer has continued to be an advocate against the overturning of Roe v. Wade, claiming that the injunction in place was a victory for Michiganders. She also took to the New York Times to write an op-ed on the Roe v. Wade decision, imploring the court to uphold the decision, explaining her frustration in light of the overturn.

She also said that she will take all the steps to keep abortion safe and legal in Michigan, speaking on the lawsuit against the 1931 ban and encouraging other pro-choice governors to follow the same path as her in motivating legislation against the overturn.

”We can all sense the hopelessness and despair that tens of millions of American women — our neighbors, family members and friends — are feeling,” Whitmer said in her New York Times piece. “But despair is a choice, and pessimism is a luxury. We must take unprecedented steps to protect the right to choose.”

Whitmer and other lawmakers are continuing to take steps to change the state constitution in favor of keeping reproductive rights.

Local abortion-rights advocates took their own stand against the possible overturning before the decision was announced. At a June 8 protest at the Capitol, abortion-rights advocates interrupted a House session demanding Michigan legislature to repeal the 1931 law for good. Though the law still remains intact, many are looking towards an abortion-rights future, even in light of the federal overturn.

While the federal governement has made its decision, many states have not. Even with a Republican-controlled legislature, Michigan's abortion rights lawmakers are continuing for reproductive rights, leaving the state with diverse beliefs and many sides to weigh in the coming weeks.

"If we do not use every lever of power we have right now, or if we succumb to complacency, Americans will suffer and may die," Whitmer said in the op-ed.

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