Michigan Attorney General Nessel Pledges to Defend Abortion Access

by Scott McClallen


Attorney General Dana Nessel told Michiganders to “rise up” and gather enough signatures to enshrine abortion rights into the state Constitution via a ballot proposal on November 8.

Nessel was reacting to the United States Supreme Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, allowing states to criminalize abortion.

The ruling triggered Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban that makes abortion a felony, but a temporary injunction from the Court of Claims is keeping abortion legal as the case advances.

Nessel supported a ballot petition from the group “Reproductive Freedom For All,” which seeks to create a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom.

The petition drive would define the right as “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”

To reach the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot, the group must collect 425,059 valid signatures by July 11, 2022.

When asked if Nessel is fit for office if she won’t enforce the 1931 abortion law, she accused her predecessors of also not enforcing some environmental or payroll laws.

“So I don’t understand how they can say that I don’t deserve to be in office because I have chosen not to enforce a law that I know will affect the health, welfare, and safety of the 2.2 million Michigan women of reproductive age who call Michigan home,” Nessel told reporters in a Zoom news conference. “I will not place their lives in jeopardy.”

Nessel said that all court rulings were temporary, and called on Michiganders to enshrine abortion rights into law.

At 1 p.m. today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion urging the Michigan Supreme Court to hear her lawsuit seeking to strike the 1931 law.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Dana Nessel” by Dana Nessel. Background Photo “Embryo Week 9-10” by lunar caustic. CC BY 2.0.

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