Lansing Update: MCC Opposes Attempt to End Law Protecting Unborn Children

In this update:

MCC Speaks Out Against Attempt to End Michigan Law Protecting Unborn Life

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Planned Parenthood filed a series of legal actions Thursday that collectively seek to overturn Michigan's nearly century-old law prohibiting abortion, ahead of a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could reinstate that law again in this state.

In response to the lawsuits, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) said it's unfortunate that the judicial branch of government is being used by the Governor and Planned Parenthood "to try to invalidate a longstanding policy approved by elected representatives and left untouched by the Legislature for nearly a century since."

Michigan residents voted via statewide ballot to oppose abortion in 1972. Also, the state Supreme Court has already previously upheld Michigan's abortion ban in 1973.

"The right to life for unborn children and its inherent value given by our Creator cannot be reduced to a legal opinion or legislative vote,"MCC said in its statement issued Thursday. "Our hope is that a greater respect for the distinct and separate branches of state government returns to the political sphere, and we pray for a deeper appreciation for the life and protection of unborn children in the hearts and minds of the citizens and elected officials of the state."

The Governor both filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Michigan's 1931 law - which prohibits abortion except to save the life of the mother - and separately asked the Supreme Court to establish a constitutional right to abortion.

At the same time, Planned Parenthood is also pushing a petition drive supported by the Governor that would include abortion as a constitutional right. So while the Governor is asking the court to affirm her claim that there's a constitutional right to abortion, Planned Parenthood is proposing to add that right to the constitution - a clear contradiction the courts should note in dismissing the complaints.

MCC is among the groups opposed to the abortion petition drive as part of the Citizens to Support MI Women & Children coalition, and MCC and the Catholic bishops of this state have encouraged Michiganders to avoid signing the radical petition that could do away with all of Michigan's pro-life laws.

These actions come as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a case that has directly challenged Roe v. Wade, a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion across the country and invalidated state laws prohibiting abortion like Michigan. There's been much speculation and anticipation that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe this summer and return abortion regulation to the states with a ruling in the present case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

While Michigan's abortion ban is still on the books, Attorney General Dana Nessel said she would not attempt to defend the state's law from the challenge issued by the Governor and Planned Parenthood, an unusual move given the state attorney general typically defends laws approved by the state Legislature.

The Catholic Church believes above all that the dignity of all human life must be respected and protected, which extends to both mothers and the children they carry. For more about how the Church ministers to and serves mothers and children in need, please read our latest edition of FOCUS.