Can I Be Charged With A Crime For Getting, Providing Or Participating In An Abortion In Michigan?
On June 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe V. Wade, the landmark decision that asserted the constitutional right to choose to have an abortion. The Supreme Court also struck down Planned Parenthood V. Casey, which further elaborated on the Roe V. Wade decision.
This move by the Supreme Court essentially gave the power to decide on the legality of abortion to the states, putting back into play each state’s abortion law that was on the books at the time of the Roe decision in 1973. In Michigan, that law is Act 328 of 1931 of the Michigan Penal Code (Section 750.14).
Michigan’s abortion law makes it a felony to administer an abortion, with the exception of instances in which the procedure is necessary to save the parent’s life. There are no exceptions for cases involving sexual assault. The law primarily targets doctors, nurses and other medical providers and not necessarily the parent.
State abortion laws are certain to see dramatic changes in the near future, and Michigan’s is no exception. Prior to the overturning of Roe, Michigan’s Court of Claims issued a preliminary injunction against the law pending a lawsuit that was filed by a doctor and Planned Parenthood of Michigan.
According to an article in The Hill, the governor of Michigan has filed a motion asking the state Supreme Court to take action on that lawsuit. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is quoted as saying that, despite the old law, abortion is legal and protected as a constitutional right in Michigan.
The injunction prevents the law from being enforced currently, but expecting parents and medical professionals alike should closely monitor the status of this matter as the situation is developing quickly. At this point, at least two Michigan prosecutors have stated that they would consider pursuing charges against doctors under the 1931 abortion law, according to an article from the Washington Post.