Michigan House and Senate pass bill repealing 1931 abortion ban
(LANSING, Mich.) — The Michigan legislature has voted to repeal a nearly century-old law criminalizing abortion.
The Michigan Senate passed HB 4006 on Wednesday, which revokes the 1931 ban on abortion, less than a week after it passed the state House on March 2.
The bill, which is just a single sentence, now heads to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to sign it into law.
Specifically, the bill repeals Section 750.14, which makes it a felony — punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 — to administer drugs that induce a miscarriage unless the mother’s life is in danger.
It also repeals Section 750.15, which makes it a misdemeanor to advertise, publish, or sell “any pills, powder, drugs or combination of drugs” that can cause an abortion.
The bills were passed in both chambers largely on party lines, with the vote passing in the Senate 20-18 and 58-50 in the House last week, with two Republicans joining all 56 Democrats.
“Today’s repeal of this antiquated law is a victory for millions of Michigan residents who, like myself, value bodily integrity and personal freedom,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “The people of this state can rest assured that their elected officials will not sit idly by in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, and will fight to ensure that residents’ health, safety, and wellbeing is safeguarded from harmful legislation.”
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, there was confusion over whether the 1931 law went back into effect.
However, a state judge ruled in September that the ban is unconstitutional, barring any state prosecutors from enforcing it.
Whitmer’s office did not reply to ABC News’ request for comment.
Anti-abortion groups criticized the passing of the legislation and described the repeal of the 1931 law as “radical.”
“Today’s reckless vote takes us down an increasingly dangerous path, and Michiganders are watching,” Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan said in statement. “This sweeping removal of common-sense health and safety protections that have been in place for decades further demonstrates the radical pro-abortion stance to which the majority of our elected officials have come to subscribe.”
The statement continued, “This position puts viable human life and women’s health second to an increasingly radical agenda that knows no boundaries.”
The repeal comes not long after Michigan voters said yes to a constitutional amendment that would add protections for reproductive rights in the November 2022 election.
The amendment defines reproductive freedom as “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management and infertility care.”
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