With legislative action, Senate Democrats’ ‘Majority for the People’ honors will of the people, protects women’s rights on International Women’s Day
LANSING, Mich. (March 8, 2023) — Today, International Women’s Day, the Michigan Senate Democrats passed much-needed legislation to repeal Michigan’s 1931 statute that criminalizes abortion care and related acts. The lead sponsors of the bills are Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), and Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield).
“Here in Michigan, the first 1931 zombie-law repeal bill was introduced in 2018. I know, because I wrote it,” said Sen. Geiss. “It’s time to ensure the archaic 1931 abortion ban, contraception ban, and the related penalties—dangerous laws drafted, passed, and enacted by an entirely male Legislature—are off the books once and for all. There’s no reason to transport women’s rights and the reproductive health of all Michiganders backwards, and by repealing these nearly century-old laws, we are finally providing a safer and more promising future for Michiganders.”
The Senate bills passed today are:
Senate Bill 2 (Geiss), which repeals the 1931 ban on contraception and other information about reproductive health (by repealing section 40 of 1931 PA 328);
Senate Bill 37 (Bayer), which would update the code of criminal procedure;
Senate Bill 39 (Geiss), which repeals Section 14 of 1931 PA 328 that criminalizes providing an abortion.
Senate Bill 93 (Anthony), which repeals penalties for the sale of drugs or medicine to procure a miscarriage.
“The attempts to limit reproductive health care are a direct attack on an individual’s right to bodily autonomy,” said Sen. Anthony. “It is unconscionable that politics can interfere with health care and this legislation will ensure it does not happen. The right to choose is imperative—and any attempt to limit one’s options will not be tolerated by the #MajorityForThePeople.”
“Today, we voted on a bill package that does exactly what the majority of people in Michigan have said they want,” said Sen. Bayer. “These fundamental decisions are so personal—no government should be telling us what to do. My abortion was necessary to save my life. I’m glad I’m here today because of that, and to be able to vote on this bill and ensure this life-saving healthcare is protected and kept safe and legal here in Michigan.”
Almost 2.5 million Michiganders—56.7 percent of voters—voted this fall to create a constitutional right to reproductive freedom and protect women, their bodies and their rights. The most urgent and pertinent part of fulfilling the public’s will on Proposal 3 is repealing the 1931 ban on abortion, without exceptions for rape and incest, and related statutes. When this archaic and dangerous law was passed, women had only had the federal right to vote for a little over a decade. The legislation was drafted and enacted by an entirely male Legislature.
“Reproductive freedom—or lack thereof—can affect the whole person: their physical health, their mental health, financial stability, capacity to care for children or other family members, ability to create a family later in life, and so much more,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “Today, we are telling Michigan women and their nurses and doctors that we trust them to make these deeply personal decisions, and we’re doing that by getting rid of this harmful area of the law that says otherwise.”