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Michigan Abortion Ban Repeal

S.B. 50, S.B. 51, S.B. 52, S.B. 53 – Sen. Ericka Geiss, Sen. Stephanie Chang, Sen. Rosemary Bayer, Sen. Winnie Brinks

H.B. 4113, H.B. 4114, H.B. 4115, H.B. 4116 – Rep. Kristy Pagan, Rep. Kyra Bolden, Rep. Tenisha Yancy, Rep. Vanessa Guerra

Current Status

H.B. 4113-4116 were introduced on January 29, 2019 and referred to the House Health Policy Committee.  S.B. 50-53 were introduced on January 23, 2019 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Description

This package of bills would repeal Michigan’s long-standing abortion ban and the associated criminal penalties. H.B. 4116 and S.B. 53 are identical bills that would remove the practice of publishing “how-to” guides for home abortion and contraception from the list of crimes in Michigan. This is the first time a bill to repeal our ban on abortion has been introduced since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided in 1973.

Background

Many states around the country have amended their state laws to become compliant with the holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The cases legalized abortions throughout all nine months for whatever “health” reason a woman and a doctor decide affects her pregnancy and warrants an abortion. Many other states have “found” a right to an abortion within their state constitutions. However, Michigan is unique. According to a Michigan Supreme Court case decided after Roe v. Wade (People v. Bricker in 1973), Michigan’s ban on abortion is enforceable except for parts of it held unconstitutional because of Roe v. Wade. Michigan successfully convicted an abortionist for an illegal late-term abortion in 2001 in People v. Higuera. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Michigan Supreme Court precedent means our state’s abortion ban should go back into total effect.

History

Michigan has had a ban on abortions continuously on the books since 1846. The current law contained in MCL 750.14 was reaffirmed in 1931.  Michigan is one of only 8 states that has maintained its pre-Roe ban on abortions. Many other states repealed their old laws after Roe vs. Wade went into effect.