GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that says Michigan will not cooperate with another state’s abortion-related prosecutions.
The executive order protects doctors from being extradited for prosecution for performing abortions in another state. Women who come to Michigan to seek an abortion are also protected from extradition under the executive order.
“After the overturn of Roe v Wade and the ensuing implementation of a series of extreme bans on abortion that criminalize women and medical professionals across the country, visitors to Michigan must know that they can access reproductive health care within our borders without fear of extradition. That is why I signed an executive order today refusing to cooperate with out-of-state law enforcement seeking to punish women for seeking health care,” Whitmer said in a press release Wednesday.
Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom explained to News 8 that a governor’s office is generally involved in extradition proceedings, so it’s his understanding that Whitmer could follow through with her order.
“The extradition procedures between states is something that we deal a lot with in policing. We just arrested an individual, or I should say Georgia police arrested an individual, wanted for murder here and what we do then is we work with the state of Georgia and their governor’s office to bring that individual back,” Winstrom said. “That’s really the … governor’s authority. And so if a woman or a doctor arrives here that is wanted for an abortion-related crime in another state, it will be the governor’s office that makes that sort of decision. I believe they actually have to sign the warrant authorizing the extradition of that individual, so that’s within her power, to my understanding, in this state.”
He doubted it would impact operations at the local level.
Michigan has a ban on performing abortions under most circumstances that dates back to 1931, but that ban is currently not being enforced. It’s in legal limbo while the state courts consider challenges by Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Whitmer.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, allowing states to ban abortion.
—News 8’s Kyle Mitchell contributed to this report.