Michigan Legislature Introduces Repeal of the 1931 Abortion Ban
For Immediate Release: Jan. 13, 2023 (Updated: Jan. 13, 2023, noon)
LANSING, Mich. – This week, the Michigan state legislature introduced bills to repeal Michigan’s 1931 criminal abortion ban. The bills are sponsored by State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) and State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor). Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan applaud the legislature for taking immediate action to remove this harmful bill from our books.
Planned Parenthood of Michigan and its Chief Medical Operating Officer, Dr. Sarah Wallett, first initiated a legal challenge to the 90-year-old felony abortion ban in state court in April 2022, in anticipation of the likely fall of Roe v. Wade. The Court of Claims granted a preliminary injunction in May, which temporarily blocked the ban and protected abortion care across the state, even after SCOTUS overturned Roe in June and ended federal protection for abortion care. In September 2022, the same court issued a permanent injunction against the ban, declaring it unconstitutional. The passage of Proposal 3 in November—which explicitly enshrined the right to access reproductive health care, including abortion, into the Michigan Constitution—removed any remaining ambiguity and paved the way for the new 102nd Legislature to permanently repeal the 1931 ban.
Statement from Paula Thornton-Greear, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan:
“We are grateful to the Michigan legislature for moving swiftly to remove outdated laws from the books and helping ensure that Michigan is in compliance with the new constitutional amendment which permanently protects reproductive freedom statewide.
This last year has been a long and difficult one while we fought to protect access to abortion across Michigan. But despite the evolving legal uncertainties, ongoing challenges, and the historic loss of Roe v. Wade, we are proud that Planned Parenthood of Michigan never closed our doors. It’s a promise we make to our patients every day – care, no matter what. And we are determined to keep it.”
Statement from Dr. Sarah Wallett, Chief Medical Operating Officer at Planned Parenthood of Michigan:
“When we first filed suit back in April 2022, we knew that federal protections for abortion care were in danger and we needed to act quickly to protect our patients. The injunctions we won in court in May and September were enough to keep abortion legal in Michigan without interruption until voters could turn out to support Proposal 3 in historic numbers.
The November election showed us, unequivocally, that Michiganders want the freedom to control their own bodies, their lives, and their futures. As a health care provider, I feel strongly that all people deserve access to abortion care and the right to make deeply personal decisions without interference from politicians.
I am grateful to every Michigander who joined us in this fight, to every provider who continued to serve patients over the last year, and to our elected champions in the 102nd legislature for helping us close out the final chapter of this era of Michigan’s history.”
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Planned Parenthood offers affordable reproductive health care for all people through medical services, education and advocacy and is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. Planned Parenthood of Michigan operates health centers across the state, providing medical services and sexuality education for nearly 60,000 Michiganders each year.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan (PPAM) is the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Michigan. PPAM works in conjunction with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund at the national level, as well as our health center/education affiliate Planned Parenthood of Michigan, supporters, and patients at the state level to ensure access to reproductive health for all Michiganders.