LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel held a press conference to discuss the reported U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling on Roe v. Wade.
Late Monday night, Politico reported that it had obtained a leaked draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn Roe V. Wade.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a pro-choice Democrat, responded to the draft.
You can watch the press conference at the top of this page.
During the conference, Nessel called the leak “unprecedented.” She called Texas’ current abortion laws “draconian,” specifically the law that allows people to sue abortion providers and patients.
“The result is not a surprise,” said Nessel, “but it is not official.”
“I think it is evident that we will see the overturning of [Roe V. Wade],” said Nessel.
“Every prosecutor has their priorities,” said Nessel. Nessel stated that every AG and prosector picks and chooses which laws to enforce, such as the unenforced law that makes adultery a crime in Michigan. She also said that by her not enforcing the 1931 law, counties with like-minded pro-choice prosecutors may become safe havens for abortion providers and patients in Michigan.
This means that abortion will go back to the states. Currently, in Michigan abortions were made illegal by a 1931 law. That law is currently unenforceable as it is superseded by Roe, but if Roe is overturned the law will take effect.
The law not only makes abortion illegal but it also makes it a crime punishable by prison time.
Nessel said that according to the law, prosecutors could argue that a woman that takes an abortion pill could also be charged. Nessel also said that if Roe is overturned, doctors may be hesitant to provide life saving abortions, even though those are legal under the 1931 law.
“For somebody like myself whose job it is to protect the … 2.2 million women of reproductive age in Michigan, I will not enforce this law,” said Nessel.
Nessel’s conference ended abruptly during the question and answer portion due to technical difficulties.
WLNS’ previous coverage is below:
In April, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sued to secure abortion rights in Michigan. The state has a 176-year-old law that bans abortion.
The 1931 law, which dates to an 1846 ban, makes it a felony to use an instrument or administer any substance with the intent “to procure the miscarriage” of a woman unless necessary to preserve her life.
Currently, the law is not in effect as it was made obsolete by Roe, but if Roe is overturned, abortions would be immediately banned in Michigan.
The governor, who is up for reelection this year, was expected to request that the Michigan Supreme Court quickly take the case rather than let it wind through lower trial and appellate courts.
The state high court has four Democratic and three Republican justices.
“It was important for us to take action now, to ensure that women and providers across the state of Michigan know whether abortions will still be available in the state because it impacts their lives and our health care providers’ practices. It’s crucial that we take this action now to secure and ensure that the Michigan Constitution protects this right that we have had available for 49 years,” Whitmer told The Associated Press, saying nearly 2.2 million women may lose access to a safe, legal medical procedure.
Earlier Tuesday, President Biden declared that a woman’s right to abortion is “fundamental” and called on voters to elect more pro-choice candidates at the federal level during the November midterms, so that Democrats can pass pro-abortion legislation.
“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” Biden said in a written statement released by the White House. “If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose, and it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” he said.