Wednesday, June 29 2022


If this official decision follows the legal arguments in the draft — drafted by Samuel Alito, who is joined by four other conservative judges on the nine-judge court — the legality of abortion would be a matter for individual states.

Under a 1931 law that would be revived if Roe fell, Michigan would be one of nine states with existing bans on abortion. Thirteen states have post-Roe bans that would take effect if the ruling is overturned, with additional states having severe restrictions. But there are several obstacles for the state to enforce this law.

Here’s what we now know:

Is abortion still legal in Michigan?

yes for now The document, leaked to the media on Monday, is a draft written in February and circulated among judges, as is usual with drafts. The court’s final judgment is not expected until June. Michigan clinics that offer abortion services and doctors who prescribe abortion pills can continue to do so for now.

If it’s just a draft, could the Supreme Court ruling change?

Drafts can and often do change, and judges routinely endorse or withdraw from a particular opinion as legal arguments develop. But one of the five Conservative justices who signed the bill would (unlikely) have to switch sides, and Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote was not included in the bill, would also have to side with the more liberal justices. Roberts is considered conservative, but so is he an institutionalist and may be reluctant to repeal what many scholars considered fixed law.

What happens in Michigan if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe?

Michigan has had laws criminalizing abortion since 1846. Michigan law, as revised in 1931, would do this make it a criminal offense that a medical provider perform an abortion unless it is necessary to preserve the mother’s life. The law also makes it a misdemeanor to sell abortion drugs in Michigan.

This law has been unenforceable since Roe, but has never been specifically repealed and would likely come back into force if the Supreme Court overturns its 1973 precedent.

Attorney General Dana Nessel says she would not enforce the 1931 law. Does that mean abortion clinics would stay open?

Not necessarily. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of Michigan spokeswoman Ashlea Phenicie said the organization’s clinics “obey all state and federal laws,” telling Bridge that Michigan clinics would be in a “difficult position” if Roe were overthrown .

The result: Even if Michigan’s Democratic attorney general says she won’t enforce the 1931 law, it’s not clear that clinics will take that chance and stay open.

Local prosecutors could choose to enforce the 1931 law. Several clinics that offer abortion services — in Macomb, Jackson, Emmet and Grand Traverse counties — are in politically conservative counties. Nessel acknowledged on Tuesday that her office was unable to prevent local officials from enforcing the 1931 law.

How many abortion clinics are there in Michigan now and where are they?

There are 27 clinics providing abortion services in Michigan, located in 13 counties, mostly in the lower parts of Michigan, although there is a clinic in Petoskey and in Marquette in the upper peninsula.


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