UNITED STATES NEWS

Whitmer strikes 1931 abortion ban from Michigan law

Apr 5, 2023, 10:45 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) — A near-century old abortion ban that fueled one of the largest ballot drives in Michigan history was repealed Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, just months after voters enshrined abortion rights in state’s constitution.

“Today, we’re going to take action to make sure that our statutes and our laws reflect our values and our constitution,” Whitmer said at a bill signing outside of Detroit.

The 1931 abortion ban, which made it a four-year felony to assist in an abortion, had long been dormant before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

citizen-led initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution received more signatures than any other ballot proposal in state history. Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal in last November’s midterms, making the 1931 law unconstitutional and unenforceable.

The 1931 ban could have been enforced in the future had voters collected enough signatures to once again amend the state constitution and repeal abortion rights. Whitmer’s signature Wednesday eliminated that possibility, erasing the law completely.

“We cannot allow archaic laws to remain on our books under the assumption that they’ll never be used again,” said Democratic state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky. “We don’t know what the future will hold and we don’t know what plans abortion opponents have.”

Last month, the Michigan House and Senate — each with a two-seat Democratic majority — voted to send a repeal of the abortion ban to the governor. A majority of Republicans opposed the bill, speaking out ahead of the vote on the legality of abortion as a whole.

Pohutsky, who sponsored the legislation repealing the law, said at the event Wednesday that “this is far from the end of the story,” and that the Democratic-controlled Statehouse will continue expanding access to reproductive health care.

Wednesday’s signing marked another victory for abortion rights supporters in Michigan, who joined California and Vermont last November in enshrining abortion rights in their state’s constitution. Kentucky, a reliably red state, rejected a ballot measure aimed at denying any state constitutional protections for abortion.

Voters in Wisconsin elected a Democratic-backed Milwaukee judge Tuesday to the state’s Supreme Court, ensuring liberals will take over majority control of the court with the fate of the state’s abortion ban on the line.

“Who would have thought two years ago, three years ago, five years ago, that we would be as Democrats looking to Michigan, Kansas, Wisconsin, Montana and Kentucky to be on the frontline of protecting reproductive freedom for women across this country,” said Laphonza Butler, the president of EMILYs List.

Whitmer joined other speakers at the event in Birmingham in calling out Republican-led states for restricting abortion rights, saying laws in Texas and South Carolina were “un-American, anti-free and, frankly, sickening.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has pushed for a six-week ban in his state, is scheduled to appear in Michigan on Thursday to speak at a Midland County GOP event before heading to southern Michigan to speak at Hillsdale College.

United States News

A San Francisco Police Department officer walks around Union Square, Friday, March 1, 2024, in San ...

Associated Press

San Francisco votes on measures to compel drug treatment and give police surveillance cameras

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Voters in San Francisco will weigh in on a pair of public safety measures on Tuesday’s ballot that reflect frustration over crime and drug use in the politically liberal city, including a proposal to compel treatment for adults using illegal drugs who receive cash welfare benefits. The other ballot measure would […]

25 minutes ago

FILE - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks during a news conference Feb. 22,...

Associated Press

LA County’s progressive district attorney faces crowded field of 11 challengers in reelection bid

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the country’s most progressive prosecutors, who faced two recall attempts within four years, is set to be tested as he seeks reelection against 11 challengers to remain the district attorney of Los Angeles County. Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary pits incumbent George Gascón against opponents who range from line prosecutors in […]

40 minutes ago

FILE - President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., greet each ...

Associated Press

McConnell weighs endorsing Trump. It’s a stark turnaround after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leader Mitch McConnell is the highest-ranking Republican in Congress who has yet to endorse Donald Trump’s bid to return to the White House — having once called the defeated president “morally responsible” for the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack. But that’s potentially about to change. McConnell’s political team and Trump’s campaign […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Industrial fire and multiple explosions shoot debris into the air in Detroit suburb

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police warned people to stay away as an industrial fire with multiple explosions shook a northern Detroit suburb on Monday night. The Clinton Township Police Department said on Facebook that an industrial fire burning near 15 Mile Road and Groesbeck Highway and that debris projected into the air was coming […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Former baseball player Steve Garvey speaks during a televised debate for candidates in the s...

Associated Press

California Senate race: Democrats aim to block Republican from contest to fill Feinstein’s seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Several prominent House Democrats are jostling to fend off Republican former baseball great Steve Garvey in the yearlong battle to fill the U.S. Senate seat once held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with two slots on California’s November ballot at stake. In a state where a Republican hasn’t won a […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Coast-to-coast Super Tuesday contests poised to move Biden and Trump closer to November rematch

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are poised to move much closer to winning their party’s nominations during the biggest day of the primary campaign on Tuesday, setting up a historic rematch that many voters would rather not endure. Super Tuesday elections are being held in 16 states and one […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Whitmer strikes 1931 abortion ban from Michigan law