Abortion access in MI and IN if Roe v. Wade ruling reverses

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -New details as the latest attempt to codify the ruling that protects a woman’s right to abortion fails in the Senate 49-51, eleven votes shy of what it needed to pass.

This keeps the door open for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which recognizes a woman’s right to an abortion up to the point of viability, roughly 22-24 weeks.

The vote for the Women’s Health Protection Bill fell largely along party lines, with Democratic senators from Michigan supporting it, while Republican senators from Indiana voted against it.

Access to abortion will become much stricter in both states if Roe v. Wade is reversed, but it will be easier to get one in the Hoosier State than in Michigan.

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) affirmed his pro-life stance on abortion ahead of the vote that aimed to make abortion protections a federal law.

“Now I want to reiterate my commitment to helping mothers and families choose life and supporting them in that choice,” he said.

Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) said, “I am 100% Pro-Life and pray it is true that the Supreme Court will follow through and save countless lives,” when responding to news of the leaked Roe v. Wade opinion last week.

16 News Now spoke with a Notre Dame law professor to find out how abortion access would change in the Hoosier State if anything like that leaked opinion becomes the final ruling.

“Abortions will still be allowed before 12-weeks or by abortion drugs before roughly 10-weeks with constraints that I mentioned before,” said Notre Dame Associate Professor of Law Sherif Girgis.

In addition to those two major restrictions, other constraints include mandatory informed consent for the patient within 18-hours before the procedure, no telehealth related to abortions, and bans on partial-birth abortions and dismemberment abortions.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) gave his opinion on the Women’s Health Protection Bill saying quote, “This is not about politics. This is not about the opinions of folks who think that they know better. Let’s preserve the right of women to do what they think is best.”

Professor Girgis says women won’t have a choice at all in Michigan if Roe v. Wade is reversed.

“In Michigan, it’s a pretty sweeping law that takes effect again which basically says, no abortions at any stage of pregnancy unless the life of the mother is at stake,” Girgis said.

He also said losing Roe v. Wade protections in Michigan would make advertising abortion a misdemeanor.

Abortion laws would end up falling into the hands of the states. Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel already came out against her own state’s laws on the books saying she would not enforce them with the hopes the state Supreme Court finds them unconstitutional.

“The enforcement of those criminal laws in Michigan is pretty much up to the county prosecutors, and there’s not a lot of control that either the governor or the attorney general can exert over those prosecutors. So you’ll have some counties where those laws are never enforced, and you’ll have some counties where those laws are pretty rigorously enforced,” Girgis said.

Girgis says there’s no hard deadline for the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on Roe v. Wade, but they try to get out all of their decisions for the term by late-June, or early-July at the latest.

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