Next year, Roe v. Wade — the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion — will be 40-years old. The case was controversial at the time and, despite its age, the case’s holdings remain a flashpoint of legal, social and religious antagonism. In the state of Michigan, the battle over Roe continues unabated.
ABORTION LAWS AND POLICIES ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING: Your updates and comments below are gratefully encouraged.
THE STATE OF ABORTION LAW IN MICHIGAN
According to the Guttermacher Institute, 83 percent of Michigan counties have no abortion provider. NARAL Pro-Choice America gives Michigan’s abortion laws an “F,” stating that the state’s prohibition on abortion procedures is “near total,” and further noting that Michigan “has not repealed its pre-Roe abortion ban.”
Thus, with narrow exceptions applicable primarily to physicians, it remains a felony to perform an abortion in Michigan. Further, NARAL Pro-Choice America notes that “any person who advertises abortion services in the state of Michigan,” or who “publishes or sells a circular, pamphlet, or book with recipes or prescriptions” for inducing an abortion is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year.”
Americans United for Life (AUL) ranks Michigan #15 in the nation on pro-life laws, noting that “Michigan protects women and the unborn in a number of ways,” including criminalizing assaults on unborn children. It notes that Michigan “reversed course in 2008 on destructive embryo research… [and] now allows and funds such research.” AUL is also critical of Michigan law that “fails to protect healthcare providers who conscientiously object to participation in destructive research.”
Abortion Quick Facts For Michigan
Below is a review of Michigan abortion law and a discussion of emerging abortion-related trends in that state.
- Must be performed by a licensed physician
- Procedure may be performed outside hospital
- Second physician not required in procedure
- Procedure is prohibited once fetus becomes viable, except in cases of woman’s life endangerment only
- Partial birth abortions are banned
- Public funding are limited to procedures cases of life endangerment, rape and incest
- Use of private comprehensive insurance coverage is allowed for procedure
- Individuals and institutional providers may refuse to participate
- Mandated counseling is required prior to procedure
- Mandated counseling must disclose risk of negative psychological effects
- 24 hour waiting period after mandated counseling prior to procedure
- Parental consent is required for minors
Michigan And Abortion: Trends And Latest News
- In 2011, Michigan banned partial-birth abortion, mirroring the federal law. The federal law, which was upheld in the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures regardless of viability and has no exception for a woman’s health.
- Among other measures, Michigan has considered measures conferring “personhood” on the unborn, limiting insurance coverage of abortion, as well as regulating the use of abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486 (the “Morning-after” pill).
Nationally, Abortion Is Divisive And Crucial
As defined by the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, abortion pits a woman’s Constitutional “right to privacy, which includes a qualified right to terminate her pregnancy” against a state’s “legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life.”
In Roe, the Court provided for the first time a national framework for legal abortions. The case has been under attack in federal and state courts, legislatures and executive offices ever since. But unlike other controversial court decisions, the controversy over Roe shows no sign of abating. If anything, our nation’s people and political system seem to be polarizing around this issue:
Whereas Republicans and Democrats had similar outlooks on abortion in the 1970s and 1980s, that started changing in 1990; and by 2009, more Republicans believed abortion should be illegal than broadly legal (by a 21-point margin), while the reverse was true among Democrats (by 19 points).
Abortion may also be the most important, as well as the most divisive, social and political issue in the United States today, at least among women. In a recent Gallup Poll, 39% of women in the 12 key swing states for Presidential elections named abortion as the most important issue facing women. Responding in an open-ended format, women ranked the issue of abortion above jobs, the economy, healthcare, and equal pay.
Ninety-three million eligible voters did not 2012, meaning that despite its importance, most voices are not being heard on the issue of abortion. If you would like to become more involved in this issue, you may get information to contact your federally elected officials here, contact a political advocacy group here, or register to vote here.
Guttermacher Institute | NARAL Pro-Choice America | National Conference of State. Legislatures | Americans. United for Life | Legal Information Institute