April 8, 2022

Michigan Gov Files Lawsuit to Find Abortion Rights in State Constitution

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office has filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to find a right to abortion in the state constitution.

In doing so, the court would invalidate an 1846 law banning abortion in the state. It is not currently enforceable, but it could come into effect if the Supreme Court completely overturns Roe v. Wade. Pro-life advocates are hopeful that the Court does this in the upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision.

The Michigan Supreme Court most recently affirmed that the Michigan Constitution does not contain a right to abortion in 1997. In that year, the court declined to hear Mahaffey vs. Attorney General, affirming the Court of Appeals decision stating that Michigan's constitution does not contain a right to abortion.

Michigan Right to Life President Barbara Listing noted that the timing of the lawsuit is strange, considering that the governor has supported a petition a "Reproductive Freedom for All" petition asking the state to create a constitutional right to abortion.

“This lawsuit to very telling of the progress of the pro-abortion petition and makes us question their status in collecting signatures,” Listing said. “Why is the Governor going over the heads of her allies? Governor Whitmer is contradicting herself by asking the Supreme Court to find a right to abortion while supporting a petition that is seeking to create a right to abortion.”