GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Justices have confirmed that a leaked draft opinion in which the conservative majority vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is authentic.
The court has cautioned that the draft opinion is not final, but still, emotions are running high across the country, including in Michigan.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is doubling down on her commitment to not enforce a 1931 felony abortion ban in the state.
This ban, 750.14 would make abortions illegal and criminal in the state and wasn't enforceable because of Roe v. Wade. However, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, county prosecutors could try to enforce it.
During a virtual news conference Tuesday, Nessel said she wasn't surprised by the leaked draft opinion, rather she was expecting it because of the majority of justices that could overturn the law.
With this 1931 state abortion law, there would be no exception for rape or incest, but a provision does allow an abortion to preserve a woman's life.
Nessel says there would be no abortion providers at all in Michigan because they'd be afraid of going to prison.
Insurance carriers may drop them as well.
"My grave concern is you're going to have women who are going to die for a number of different reasons. Either because they'll be so desperate to try to self-abort and of course we know that's the reason why women pre-Roe were harmed," she said.
She's also concerned the ban will increase domestic violence and domestic homicide cases.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit last month against the AG's office to block the state's 90-year-old felony abortion ban.
The AG said Tuesday she believes this case should be dismissed because she won't enforce the ban and also because she doesn't have the authority to make county prosecutors enforce certain laws.
"I want every Michigander to know that no matter what happens in D.C., I'm going to fight like hell to protect access to safe, legal abortion in Michigan," Gov. Gretchen said in a video message on Twitter Tuesday.
Whitmer filed a different lawsuit last month asking the Michigan Supreme Court to resolve whether the state constitution protects the right to abortion. She's brought the case against multiple county prosecutors to try to enjoin them from enforcing the 1931 felony abortion ban if Roe v Wade is overturned.
"In the Governor's case, the Michigan Supreme Court could rule the statute is unconstitutional. Otherwise to repeal it, you'd need to have a majority of legislators in the House and Senate and governor indicates she'd simply sign it," said Nessel.
However, the state's Republican-controlled legislature isn't likely to do so.
The Michigan Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative may also appear on the November ballot in Michigan. Nessel says it needs 425,000 signatures by July 1 and after which time the legislature has 60 days to decide whether or not to pass it, and if it doesn't it'll go on the November ballot.
"If it passes, then 750.14 will be unenforceable again because it'll be a constitutional provision these reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, would supersede this statue," said Nessel.
Nessel believes this issue should be in the minds of voters come this November. Her message is there's one party willing to protect women's productive rights and one that isn't.
The formal decision on Roe could be released by mid to late June towards the end of their session year but it could come earlier than that.
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