Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court to strike down a law that could limit access to abortion in the state, according to an April 7 press release.
The petition precedes an anticipated ruling this spring by the Supreme Court of the United States on a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks.
Whitmer said she wants the state supreme court to strike down a 1931 Michigan law that made abortion a felony except in cases involving serious medical risk to the mother.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling made Michigan’s law unenforceable.
Whitmer’s petition seeks to legalize abortion in Michigan, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
State Rep. Andrew Fink, R‑Hillsdale, responded to Whitmer and Democrat Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“No one has the right to take the life of an innocent human being,” Fink said. “Michigan law has always recognized this, but that doesn’t matter to Governor Whitmer. If she and Attorney General Nessel won’t defend the sanctity of unborn lives, then my colleagues and I will instead.”
Pro-life activists in the state said Whitmer has stepped outside the bounds of governor with this petition.
“Governor Whitmer is circumventing normal legal procedures and ignoring Michigan’s citizens in a desperate attempt to change a law she doesn’t like,” said Christen Pollo, executive director at Protect Life MI. “Governor Whitmer’s job is to sign laws, not make them.”
Nessel said in a press release that she supported Whitmer’s efforts.
“Abortion care is an essential component of women’s health care,” Nessel said. “As this state’s top law enforcement officer, I have never wavered in my stance on this issue, and I will not prosecute women or their doctors for a personal medical decision.”