New: Analysis shows Mich. among states in danger of losing abortion rights if Roe is overturned

By: - October 1, 2021 9:15 am

Pro-choice protesters gather at the Supreme Court on May 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Alabama abortion law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week, includes no exceptions for cases of rape and incest, outlawing all abortions except when necessary to prevent serious health problems for the woman.| Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Updated, 11:27 a.m., 10/01/21 with comment from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer 

Michigan is one of 26 states most likely to quickly move to ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade.

That’s from a new analysis from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda obtained by the Michigan Advance.

The Supreme Court, which is considered to have its most right-wing makeup in decades, agreed to hear arguments Dec. 1 on a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, poses a significant challenge to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that declared abortion to be a constitutional right.

The other 25 states identified as at risk of losing access to abortion care are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Lori Carpentier | Ken Coleman

“People all across the country have watched in horror as their leaders passed and enacted extreme abortion bans and tried to defund reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood,” said Planned Parenthood of Michigan President and CEO Lori Carpentier. “Here in Michigan, access to abortion has been continuously protected by Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer, who has used her veto pen and the powers of her office to ensure that safe, legal abortion remains accessible to the people who need it.”

Planned Parenthood and Whitmer are set to hold a press conference Friday morning.

More than 48% of women ages 18 to 49 in the U.S. and 55% of Black women of that age live in these states, per Planned Parenthood.

When this report was last released in 2018, 20 states were considered at-risk of banning abortion, totaling 25 million women of reproductive age. Three years later, at least 11 million more women, trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people are at risk of losing access to abortion, according to Planned Parenthood. 

Some of these states have trigger laws that state governments could use to ban abortion immediately after a Supreme Court decision overruling or undermining Roe.

Michigan doesn’t have a trigger law in place, but there is a 1931 pre-Roe abortion ban criminalizing abortion that the state could fall back on if Roe v. Wade is overturned, as the Advance has previously reported. Whitmer urged the Michigan Legislature earlier this month to repeal the 90-year-old law, calling it “arcane.”

“As long as I’m governor, any law to strip away fundamental reproductive rights or weaken access to life saving health care will not get my signature. It will get vetoed,” Whitmer said Friday. “I called on our Legislature to pass a bill and send it to my desk that repeals the 90-year-old ban on abortion. I’ll do everything I can to make that the case. I look forward to a day when I can sign a deal like that. But it is precarious.”

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion allowing another abortion ban, Texas’ Senate Bill 8, to go into effect, which banned the procedure as early as six weeks with no exceptions for incest or rape. It also allows private individuals to sue anyone who they believe is providing abortions or assisting someone in accessing an abortion.

In 2021 alone, nearly 600 abortion restrictions have been introduced nationwide, with 90 enacted into law — more than in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.