LANSING, MI – According to reports, the Michigan attorney general has already come forward and proclaimed that she will not be enforcing Michigan’s anti-abortion law that would kick into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
On May 8th, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel referred to a 1931 Michigan law that will go into effect if the Supreme Court follows through with overturning Roe v. Wade, saying she refuses “to enforce this draconian law that will endanger their lives and put to jeopardy the health, safety and welfare of the lives of each and every woman in the state of Michigan.”
This “draconian law” that AG Nessel referenced in her statement pertains to an anti-abortion law that criminalizes abortions except in instances where the procedure was “necessary to preserve the life of such woman.”
Michigan Penal Code 750.14 reads, “Any person who shall willfully administer to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, substance or thing whatever, or shall employ any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of any such woman, unless the same shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such woman, shall be guilty of a felony, and in case the death of such pregnant woman be thereby produced, the offense shall be deemed manslaughter.”
Based upon the language of the legislation, it can be construed that the law itself will not “endanger” women’s “health” or “safety,” yet a report from NPR on the law asserts that “doctors say they have no idea how to interpret” the rather plain language of the law.
University of Michigan professor and OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Harris is among those medical professionals claiming that the 1931 law isn’t clear on what could be understood as a “necessary” abortion performed in order to “preserve the life” of a woman.
Dr. Harris used as an example instances where a pregnant woman suffers from severe heart disease, where therein lies a 20-30% chance of dying while pregnant, saying, “Is that enough of a chance? I hate to even put it that way, but is that enough of a chance of dying that that person would qualify under Michigan’s ban for a lifesaving abortion? Or would their risk of dying need to be 50% or 100%?”
AG Nessel is among those who believe that matters like abortion shouldn’t even be subjected to restrictive legislation, saying, “Politicians do not belong in our doctor’s offices, they don’t belong in our bedrooms and should not be making these kinds of decisions on behalf of the American public and behalf of women across America.”
The Michigan AG is further hoping that the state’s Supreme Court will determine that abortions is a fundamental right under Michigan’s constitution even if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the nation’s high court.