Michigan Senate approves bill repealing 1931 abortion ban

Michigan Senate approves bill repealing 1931 abortion ban

(CNN) The Michigan state Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the state’s 1931 abortion ban as well as its sentencing guidelines.

The bills passed 20-18 along party lines in the Democratic-controlled Senate after passing the House last week and sent to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature. Democrats control the governor’s office and state legislature for the first time in four decades.

Whitmer has been a vocal supporter of abortion rights, using the issue as a driving force in her 2022 re-election campaign. The governor filed a lawsuit against several district attorneys in her state last year in a attempt to prevent the 1931 ban from going into effect after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Michigan’s law, which was struck down by a 1973 Supreme Court ruling but remains on the state’s books, prohibits abortions even in cases of rape or incest, except to preserve the woman’s life.

Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks previously told CNN that one of the new legislature’s first priorities would be to repeal the ban that was brought back into play after the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer.

In September, a state court declared the abortion ban unconstitutional and blocked its implementation, allowing abortion to remain legal in the state.

Michigan voters enshrined abortion rights in the state constitution during the midterm elections, a move intended to help block the ban from taking effect.

But reproductive rights advocates see the bill’s passage through the legislature as a “huge step forward.”

“This is proof positive that choices matter,” Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement. Michigan citizens made it clear in the midterms that they overwhelmingly support reproductive freedom, and repealing this oppressive pre-Roe ban sends an unmistakable signal that Michigan will always fight for abortion access.

Democratic state senators celebrated the passage of the bills in the legislature on Wednesday.

“My abortion was necessary to save my life,” state Sen. Rosemary Bayer said on Twitter. “I’m glad to be here today because of that, and to be able to vote for this bill and ensure that this life-saving health care is protected and kept safe and legal here in Michigan.”

Republicans in the Michigan state Senate, however, oppose the new effort and have described it as “dangerous.”

“While Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to strengthen protections for women, Senate Democrats are rushing through dangerous bills to repeal longstanding protections for women and the unborn,” GOP state Sen. Joseph Bellino said in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *