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The post-Roe ticking time bombs

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President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett was confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

One thing getting to little attention as the Court decides how it wants to dismantle Roe v. Wade is the number of states that still have previously unenforceable abortion bans on the books:

Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig said if elected he would block any attempt by Democrats to repeal Michigan’s 90-year-old ban on abortion, according to a secret audio recording obtained by Metro Times.

Craig made the remark Thursday while talking with supporters after his speech at a campaign kickoff event in Marquette.

The 1931 law, which made it a felony to perform an abortion, was nullified following Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that women have a constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. But abortion-rights advocates are worried that the ruling may be in jeopardy after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision earlier this month to let a Texas ban on most abortions remain in effect.

Democrats, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, are calling on lawmakers to repeal the ban in case Roe v. Wade is overturned. In February, state Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, introduced a bill to repeal the abortion ban in Michigan.

In the recording, which was obtained and provided by American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal political action committee that conducts opposition research on Republicans, Craig is asked if he would stop Democrats “from undoing the law that makes abortion illegal in Michigan.”

“I will do whatever I can — I’m pro-life,” Craig responded.

Asked again if he supports blocking Democrats from “repealing that law,” Craig said, “Yes.”

If Whitmer is governor, she can at least direct the law not to be enforced, but if Craig is governor look out. (UPDATE: Michigan prosecutors are independently elected so nope, even that wouldn’t help.)

When Roe is overruled, there will be lots of pious punditry about how reproductive rights can still be protected democratically. Few of them will address states like Michigan that don’t actually hold democratic elections for the state legislature.

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