The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, which essentially cancels out a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, now has many questioning whether the procedure is illegal in Michigan. And if it is, what penalties might someone face who illegally obtains an abortion?

 

Abortions are reportedly still legal in Michigan–at least for now

 

Because the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, states are now left to decide what abortion bans, if any, they want to put into place. Currently, abortions are still considered a legal procedure in Michigan, reports Mlive (1), but a decision in the Planned Parenthood v. Attorney General case could change that.

According to the news source, Act 328 of 1931 is what the state would revert to “which all but completely bans the procedure and offers no exceptions in the case of rape or incest.” The decades-old law, however, is being challenged by Planned Parenthood, which is arguing that it is “unconstitutional under Michigan’s constitution and would violate a person’s civil rights if enforced.”

The media outlet also shared that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has filed a lawsuit on the issue which had already made its way up to the Supreme Court. However, if the court rules in favor of the governor, the State of Michigan could be forced to follow the rules that are outlined in Act 328 of 1931.

 

How do states punish individuals who obtain an illegal abortion?

 

Several states, including Louisiana and Kentucky, had in place what are called “trigger laws,” according to NBC News (2), which essentially bans abortions. Other states are expected to put into place similar laws in the coming days. If a clinic or other type of health care facility administers an abortion and violates the law, criminal penalties can be imposed.

In fact, an Indian American woman from Indiana was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 for feticide and child neglect and she consumed pills designed to induce an abortion. NBC News says prosecutors combed through text messages between Patel and a friend that discussed “ordering pharmacy pills meant to induce an abortion” as their evidence against her.

Although an appeals court was able to get Patel’s sentence reduced in 2016, essentially allowing her to be released much earlier than expected, she faced harsh criticism and spent time away from her family all for choosing to abort her pregnancy.

 

Now more than ever, it’s important for you to understand what your legal rights are in Michigan.

 

The laws are changing every day and you should know how they can impact your choices. If you have questions regarding Michigan’s abortion laws or need legal advice, contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney.

The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is a criminal law firm located in Lansing, Michigan that has been offering legal services for more than 45 years. If you have a legal question or concern, contact Michigan criminal defense lawyer Staurt R. Shafer today.

 

If you have any other types of legal concerns or questions about the content in this article, please call 800-672-3103.

 

The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:

 

1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603

Website: www.stushafer.com

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/06/abortion-is-still-legal-in-michigan-it-might-not-stay-that-way.html 
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/prosecutors-states-abortion-now-illegal-begin-prosecute-abortion-provi-rcna35268
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