Michigan Abortion ban law officially repealed after record midterm elections

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs legislation repealing the state's 1931 abortion ban.

Courtesy of Gov. Whitmer's Office

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs legislation repealing the state's 1931 abortion ban.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repealed the 1931 law that criminalized abortions and intentional miscarriages, ensuring reproductive freedom for the people of Michigan.

“Today we’re going to take action, to make sure that our statutes, our laws, reflect our values and our constitution,” said Whitmer at a press conference in Birmingham, April 5.

After Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the country – was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2022, it was left up to the individual states to decide the fate of reproductive rights.

“It’s really important, especially after Roe v. Wade was overturned, we need to have these reproductive rights signed into law,” said Michigan State University sophomore Annie Nguyen.

During the elections last fall, the abortion ban written into our constitution nearly a century ago was one of the biggest and most divisive issues on the ballot. It was also hotly debated by incumbent Whitmer and challenger Tudor Dixon, during the race for governor.

On the ballot itself Proposal 22-3 “would amend the state constitution to provide that every individual has a right to reproductive freedom, including the right to make and carry out pregnancy-related decisions such as those concerning prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility care,” according to the Michigan House of Representatives.

Proposal 22-3 passed and Whitmer was reelected, a victory for reproductive rights activists and democrats across the state of Michigan.

“It feels really good to have reproductive rights signed into law,” said MSU sophomore Maddie Alleman. “There is a really big history with laws helping underrepresented groups not passing or getting overturned, so knowing that Prop. 3 passed and Governor Whitmer removed the abortion ban feels good.”

Alleman, who voted in the most recent election said she was pleased with the turnout by young people, citing the long lines in Brody Hall and other places around campus where students waited hours to cast their votes.

“Pretty much every candidate and proposal I wanted to pass or win did, and I think a big reason for that was the young people at MSU showed up in multitudes and swayed the election,” said Alleman.

According to the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a record 4.5 million midterm voters turned out to vote on codifying reproductive rights into law. Many MSU students stood in line for hours waiting to vote at Brody Hall, one of the voting centers on campus for students.

“It makes me happy that our generation is realizing that their voice and their vote has power, and they are starting to use that power to make change in our state and throughout the country,” said Nguyen.

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