The Michigan legislature on Tuesday voted to ban second trimester dilation and evacuation abortion, excluding cases where it would save a woman’s life.
The two The Senate and the House adopted the legislation, with a 22-16 majority in the Senate and a 58-51 majority in the House. Although Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she will veto the bill, anti-abortion activist group Right to Life is working to bypass the need for her signature by launching a citizens’ initiative, according to The Washington Post. If the initiative is successful, lawmakers could move forward without Whitmer’s signature.
Whitmer to veto Senate ban on abortion procedure
By Faith Janet Coleman
Expansion and evacuation have already been banned in 12 states in the United States, including West Virginia and Mississippi, although they are suspended in eight of those states due to various legal issues. Alabama passed a bill on Tuesday that would ban nearly all abortions, and Georgia just passed a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bills appear to be part of a nationwide effort to bring anti-abortion bills to the Supreme Court in order to ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Alabama House Rep. Terri Collins, who sponsored the bill, told NBC News Tuesday that the bill was designed to be challenged and taken to the Supreme Court.
“The purpose of this bill is, hopefully, to go to the Supreme Court and have them review the real decision, which is, is the baby in a womb a person?” Collins said. “And we think the technology and science is showing that it is. You can see the baby’s tissues are developing throughout the process.”
According to BuzzFeed Newsanti-abortion activists are likely to know that opponents will pursue these abortion bans for six weeks, as similar legislation has been overturned by lower courts in the past. The goal of anti-abortion activists is then likely to trace the issue back to the Supreme Court.
The effort to overthrow Roe v. Wade has recently accelerated because the Supreme Court has moved to the right after the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. When Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee before being confirmed as a judge of the Supreme Court, he declined to state that he would refrain from canceling Roe v. Wade, and has written in the past that he would be open to stricter abortion regulations.
In October 2016, before the presidential election, Trump has pledged to make efforts to overthrow Roe v. Wade if he was elected. He said this “will happen automatically” if he had the option of appointing Supreme Court justices – which of course he did when he appointed Kavanaugh.
Abortion rights advocates are in a delicate position because with every legal action they bring against anti-abortion bills, the closer the case gets to the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court does not generally prefer to overturn precedent, this has happened in the very recent past. Monday, the courts overturned a 1979 decision who indicated that states are not immune to private prosecutions in courts of other states.
In response to this reversal of precedent, Judge Stephen G. Breyer wrote: “It is ‘dangerous to overturn a decision just because five members of a later tribunal agree with previous dissenters on a difficult legal question.’
He continued: “Today’s decision can only raise the question of which cases the Court will overturn next. “
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