A 1931 abortion ban was repealed Wednesday (April 5) by Michigan by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The ban was part of one of the biggest ballot drives in Michigan history, in which Michigan 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 during the bill signing.
The abortion ban made it a four-year felony to assist in an abortion. It was inactive before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of last year.
Courts blocked the ban from going into effect during the ballot initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution.
Even after the vote, the 1931 ban could have been reinstated in the future if voters collected enough signatures to once again repeal abortion rights and amend the state constitution. By signing this bill, Whitmer eliminated that possibility. Now, the law is totally gone.
“We cannot allow archaic laws to remain on our books under the assumption that they’ll never be used again,” Democratic state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future will hold and we don’t know what plans abortion opponents have.”