Michigan’s majority Democrat legislature voted to overturn a 1931 abortion ban, sending the bill to Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.
On Wednesday (March 8), Michigan State Senate approved a bill to overturn the 1931 law, which had made providing a woman with an abortion a felony four years in prison.
The vote in the Senate fell primarily on party lines, as it had a week prior in the state House.
For decades after the Supreme Court set the Roe v Wade precedent in 1973, the 1931 law hadn’t been enforced.
However, following the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v Wade in June last year, confusion reigned in the state about whether the 1931 state law was in effect.
In September, a Michigan Judge ruled that the 1931 legislation was against the state Constitution and wasn’t enforceable.
In November, through a ballot initiative, voters enshrined abortion rights in Michigan’s constitution.
Following repealing the 1931 law, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) touted the move, praising the overturning of the “antiquated law” as a “victory for millions of Michigan residents who… value bodily integrity and personal freedom.”
Nessel, referencing the ballot initiative, expressed being “grateful” that state legislators had listened “to the will of the voters who passed Proposition 3.”
Nessel added that Michiganders should “rest assured” that elected officials “will not sit idly by in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned,” saying that state legislators would safeguard residents’ “health, safety, and wellbeing.”
However, opponents have criticized Michigan’s legislators’ move, describing it as part of a “radical agenda.”