Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to protect abortion rights in her state.
The Democrat is seeking to overturn a 1931 abortion ban that is still in effect in Michigan but is currently inactive under the Roe v. Wade of 1973 from the Supreme Court of the United States.
She asked the state Supreme Court to make abortion a right under the state constitution, arguing that the law violates both Michigan’s Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause. of the American Constitution.
The defendants include 13 elected county prosecutors in counties with abortion clinics, according to CNN.
It comes as the US Supreme Court – which now has a 6-3 conservative majority – could decide to overturn the Roe decision or even overturn it. The court will decide Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which revolves around a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion at 15 weeks. Roe made access to abortion a constitutional right until a fetus was deemed viable at around 24 weeks gestation.
“If Roe is overturned, abortion could become illegal in Michigan under almost all circumstances – including rape and incest – and deprive Michigan women of the ability to make critical decisions for themselves in health care,” Whitmer said in a statement. “It’s no longer theoretical: it’s reality.”
On Monday, Colorado became the latest state to protect abortion rights. Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, making abortion rights part of state law.
“No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, the people of Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,” Polis said.
Republican states, on the other hand, have taken steps to restrict abortion. More recently, the Florida Senate voted in favor of a 15-week abortion ban in March. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it into law.
In Michigan, Whitmer argued that abortion should not be dictated by politics.
“A woman should be able to make her own medical decisions with the advice of a trusted medical professional – politicians should not make that decision for her,” she said.
Whitmer is eligible for re-election in November 2022 and was also on President Joe Biden’s 2020 shortlist of vice presidential candidates.