Ferris State University Professor Reacts to the Suspension on the 1931 Abortion Ban

A judge suspended Michigan’s dormant law that bans abortions in the state Tuesday.

The law would take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The judge says the law, which makes it a crime to assist with an abortion, likely violates the state constitution.

The law has been on the books since 1931, but has had no practical effect since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. The high court could overturn that decision this summer, which would leave abortion issues for each state to decide.

9&10 News spoke with a Ferris State University Professor Tuesday about how the judge could consider the 1931 law unconstitutional.

In April, Planned Parenthood of Michigan filed a lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of the ban. Planned Parenthood’s case suggests a ban on abortion would violate the due process clause. Which they claim ensures the right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

“They have to prove that right? That still has to be argued in court, it has to be proven,” David Takitaki, a Political Science Program Coordinator at Ferris State University, said. “It’s gotta be presented convincingly to, probably, again the Michigan Supreme Court. All this injunction is primarily doing is preventing there from being a yo-yo effect in terms of individual access to these medical procedures in the event that Roe v. Wade goes away.”

There’s no date set for the Michigan Supreme Court to hear the Planned Parenthood case. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also asked the state Supreme Court to throw out the 1931 law.